Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Heather Hutchins-Wiese, PhD, RD, Chair

Committee Member

Olivia Ford, PhD, RD

Committee Member

John Carbone, PhD, RD


The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, and seafood; moderate intake of dairy, lean proteins, and alcohol; and low intake of red meat and sweets. This pattern consistently correlates with health benefits in epidemiological research, which uses numerous scoring systems to measure diet adherence. No withinpopulation system comparisons have been conducted in the U.S. to understand how differences in system constructs may impact adherence measurement. This study used food intake data from a U.S. sample of 72 older adults to calculate scores with the Alternative Mediterranean Diet Scale, Mediterranean Diet Scale, Pyramid-Based Mediterranean Diet Score, Mediterranean Eating Pattern for Americans, Literature-Based Adherence Score, and Mediterranean Diet Adherence Score. All systems correlated at least moderately, with differences amongst food group scorings. Total scores were categorized into adherence levels based on previous literature. Differences in scoring methods affected comparability of systems for a U.S. population.