Central obesity and the Mediterranean diet: A systematic review of intervention trials

  • C. L. Bendall, H. L. Mayr, R. S. Opie, M. Bes-Rastrollo, C. Itsiopoulos, C. J. Thomas
  • Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, October 2017, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1351917

The effect of Mediterranean diet interventions on central obesity

What is it about?

Central obesity, particularly visceral fat, is linked to inflammation and is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is anti-inflammatory and promotes weight loss, however, it is unclear whether this diet reduces central obesity specifically. This paper summarises the methods and findings of intervention studies testing the effect of a Mediterranean diet on measures of central obesity.

Why is it important?

Our findings demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet can reduce central obesity, as measured by waist circumference, and that this effect is more significant if the diet is calorie restricted. There are more studies needed to test whether the diet reduces levels of visceral fat (which is most harmful) specifically.


Hannah Mayr
La Trobe University

There is a common misconception that the Mediterranean diet, which is high in healthy dietary fats, leads to fat and/or weight gain. This review highlighted that this is not true and rather suggested that the Mediterranean diet leads to loss of central fat.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Hannah Mayr