Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

Mediterraneans disregard their healthy diet

©

Latest update : 2008-07-30

Beloved around the world and touted by experts as healthy and good for longevity, the Mediterranean diet is increasingly abandoned by its own originators, the Food and Agriculture Organisation warned.

People in Mediterranean countries are abandoning the region's widely praised healthy diet in favour of food that has too much fat, salt and sugar, the Food and Agricultural Organization warned Tuesday.
   
"Hailed by experts as keeping people slim, healthy and long-living, the Mediterranean diet has followers all over the world -- but is increasingly disregarded around the Mediterranean," said a statement from the UN body.
   
Senior FAO economist Josef Schmidhuber said the Mediterranean diet, based on fresh fruit and vegetables, was becoming less popular in several countries in its home region including Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
   
Growing affluence had changed the eating habits in southern Europe, north Africa and the Near East to the extent that a region once held up as a dietary model was now showing worrying health trends, he noted in a research paper.
   
They had switched from a diet traditionally light on animal products to more meat and fatty foods. What they now ate was "too fat, too salty and too sweet," Schmidhuber reported.
   
"Higher calorie intake and lower calorie expenditure have made Greece today the EU member country with the highest average Body Mass Index and the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity," said Schmidhuber.
   
"Today, three quarters of the Greek population are overweight or obese," he added.
   
More than half of the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese populations were also overweight, said Schmidhuber.
   
And there had been a "vast increase" in the overall calories and glycaemic load of the diets in the Near East-North Africa region.
   
People with a high glycaemic index are more likely to develop health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
   
Of 15 European Union nations surveyed, citizens across the EU were ignoring the recommendations of both the FAO and the World Health Organization regarding calory intake.
   
"But Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta, who started out poorer than the northerners, upped their calorie count by 30 percent," said the FAO statement.
   
For Schmidhuber, the change in eating habits was not just due to higher incomes.
   
Other factors included the development of supermarkets, working women having less time to cook and families eating out more, often in fast-food restaurants.
   
And while people were consuming more calories, their lifestyles had become more sedentary, as people exercised less.
 

Date created : 2008-07-29

Comments

COMMENT(S)