Mediterranean diet at risk as globalisation bites

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015. Filed under: Destinations Environment Health & Fitness
The Mediterranean diet is based on cereals, vegetables, pulses and a moderate intake of fish and meat, but tourism, urban development, depletion of natural resources and a loss of traditional knowledge are altering the menu. ©eugena-klykova/shutterstock.com

The Mediterranean diet is based on cereals, vegetables, pulses and a moderate intake of fish and meat, but tourism, urban development, depletion of natural resources and a loss of traditional knowledge are altering the menu.
©eugena-klykova/shutterstock.com

(Rome, Italy-AFP) – Eating a MEDITERRANEAN DIET has long been a byword for healthy living, but the very people who coined it are straying from sun-kissed fruits and legumes and their waistlines are paying the price.

The region is undergoing a “nutrition transition” from traditional, sustainable foods towards more meat and dairy products, a new report by the UN and International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies said Thursday.

The bottom line is that many in southern Mediterranean countries, from Egypt to Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey, are piling on the kilos, struggling increasingly with obesity and chronic diet-based diseases, the UN’s food agency said.

“Globalization, food marketing and changing lifestyles — including changes in the roles women play in society — are altering consumption patterns in the Mediterranean,” the report said.

The famous diet is based on cereals, vegetables, pulses and a moderate intake of fish and meat, but tourism, urban development, depletion of natural resources and a loss of traditional knowledge are altering the menu.

Products are being increasingly sourced from outside the region — only 10 percent of the local crop varieties cultivated in the past are still grown today — which affects not only local food producers but also the environment.

“The MEDITERRANEAN DIET is nutritious, integrated in local cultures, environmentally sustainable and it supports local economies,” said Alexandre Meybeck, Coordinator of FAO’s Sustainable Food Systems Program.

“This is why it’s essential that we continue to promote and support it,” he said.

lrb/ide/ccr

Share Button

Related posts

The country deemed to have the healthiest eating habits may surprise youThe countries most likely to opt for a spiritual or beach holiday64% of global consumers now cut certain ingredients out of their dietsStudy shows eating homemade meals could reduce chances of diabetesThe digital disease: too much time on tech devices means our eyes are sufferingNorway says farmed salmon safe and urges public to eat moreUS village is cell phone free and loving itChef Joel Robuchon to release cookbook for well-beingTop 10 trends in natural and organic foodsCould red wine fight cavities?New book details one family’s sugar-free yearLondon to launch Europe’s largest gay wedding showHow to have a happy vacationGeneral Mills pledges GMO-free CheeriosSpending the night in a cemetery and other strange New Year’s customsRestaurant meals pack calorie punch: studiesThousands set for S. Korea’s ‘battle of the singles’Much-talked-about dieting bot set to hit US marketPetition for veggie burger at In-N-Out draws ire of meat loversCanada approves genetically modified salmon for food