Greek diet changes and so does the health of the nation

Greek diet changes and so does the health of the nation

I talk about the traditional Mediterranean diet a great deal.  The genuine one is a stunner but there are many pretenders and myths.  That aside, Greece is falling apart with its health due to the changing of the diet by the next generations.

Here is a great though sad article about exactly that.  How a “longevity champion” race has become one of the most obese on the planet.

My favourite quotes from the article are:

  • "Since the 1950s, study after study has shown that the Mediterranean diet, and especially the diet of Crete, makes you live longer, protects you from heart disease and cancer, and keeps you from getting too fat"
  • "Unfortunately, hardly anybody follows it anymore"
  • "Today Greece has the one of the highest obesity rates in the world.  The proportion of overweight children - about 40% - might be the highest, except for some Pacific islands.  I met a 16 year old in western Crete.  Her favorite foods are hamburgers and pizza.  She has struggled with her weight most of her life"
  • "Christina Makratzaki, a local Crete dietitian says “It has to do with many factors.  In the ‘50s and ‘60s the people, they were poor, but they were healthy.  They were eating very good foods; olive oil, olives, the green leafy vegetables that are our treasure” 
  • "And then there’s the marketing - a relentless bombardment of ads aimed at kids for products like soft drinks and breakfast cereal and processed meat"
  • "Marion Nestle, New York University nutritionist whose books include ‘What to Eat’ and ‘Why Calories Count’ says “World trade has opened up a world marketplace in food that’s like nothing the world had never seen before.  Nearly every society is going through what Crete has gone through - even in places where hunger is still endemic.  It’s known as ‘the nutrition transition’.  The nutrition transition happens very quickly.  As soon as people get money, they start buying more meat and more processed foods.  Well, that’s fine if you don’t eat too much of it.  The problem is that we as humans, when we’re confronted with large amounts of delicious food, we eat large amounts of food”

Full article here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/greece-obesity.html

Posted: Thursday 8 November 2012

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