Interventional study to demonstrate the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet on an optimal weight and maintaining healthy habits in adolescents

Research study with adolescents to examine the impact of a Mediterranean diet enriched with sourdough bread, nuts, pomegranate and chickpeas/hummus on maintaining and optimum weight and healthy habits

We plan to demonstrate that a Mediterranean diet enriched with products typical of the Mediterranean, such as pomegranate, chickpeas/hummus, nuts and sourdough bread, is more effective in maintaining an optimal weight and healthy habits than a conventional low-fat diet among adolescents.

The study will examine the changes in intestinal microbiota as well as in gut-derived metabolites in 240 teenagers in order to gain knowledge about the mechanisms through which the Mediterranean Diet exerts its health effects.

MED4Youth study is to take place simultaneously in Spain, Italy and Portugal with 80 adolescents’ participants in each country. The study will take place throughout 2021. The intervention with each participant will have a duration of approximately 4 months.

This research study is being conducted by Eurecat’s Biotechnology Area (Spain), the University of Coimbra (Portugal) and the University of Parma (Italy). It has been reviewed and approved by Clinical Research Ethics Committees in the countries where the clinical interventions take place.

  • Spain: Comitè ètic d’investigació amb medicaments de l’Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili. CEIm-IISPV (number: 210/2020)
  • Portugal: Comissão de Ética do Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (Code: CHUC-197-20).
  • Italy: Comitato Etico dell’Area Vasta Emilia Nord


We are looking for boys and girls aged 11-17 years with a BMI over 90% willing to improve their health. Participants will need their parents’ or legal tutors’ consent on their participation to the study.

All participants will use a web-application with personalised health and nutrition tips, easy recipes and games. Because of that, access to a mobile phone, tablet or computer with Internet connection is needed.

Participants will be assigned to one of the two intervention groups and asked to follow a specific diet during the study:

  • Mediterranean Diet group – this group will be instructed to follow a Mediterranean Diet that will incorporate sourdough bread, chickpeas/hummus, pomegranate and mixed nuts.
  • Low-fat diet group – this group will follow a diet based on a low consumption of fats.

Benefits for participants

The participants will be monitored by experts in nutrition and health to help them follow the given nutritional advice. In addition, participants will get online support throughout the study through a web-app, which will provide healthy recipes and tips to encourage teenagers to maintain a healthy behaviour.

Teenagers will be able to improve their overall health and reduce their weight, while participating in the largest study of its kind, taking place simultaneously in three different Mediterranean countries (Spain, Italy and Portugal).

How to participate? Contact us!

If you have any further questions about the study or you wish to enrol please contact us at telling us in which regional study would you like participate (Italy, Spain or Portugal).