Mediterranean diet 'not affordable by poorest anymore'

Diet

Mediterranean diet, which is an international star acclaimed by the scientific community as the best dietary paradigm, seems to creak under the burden of the economic crisis scaring the food trolley of millions of families worldwide, researchers say.

The Mediterranean diet has recently achieved lots of distinctions, from the inclusion by the UNESCO in the Olympus of the World heritage list to a long series of dedicated congresses and meetings held everywhere in the globe with the aim of promoting its healthy properties against the most threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease and tumours.

The alarm was raised by a team of Italian scientists from the Research Laboratories at the Fondazione di ricerca e cura Giovanni Paolo II – Catholic University of Campobasso who published in the British Medical Journal, BMJ Open, the results of a study on 13,000 subjects.

"Our hypothesis comes from a pretty simple observation. – argues Marialaura Bonaccio first author of the study – We sought to see whether the increasing cost of the main food products and the progressive impoverishment of people could contribute to the obesity pandemic which has been affecting the countries of the Mediterranean area during the recent years, including Italy," the researchers said.

For the study, researchers analyzed information on over 13,000 people, a sub-sample of the widest epidemiological Moli-sani Project.

Since 2005 this project has been recruiting about 25,000 adult subjects from the Molise region aiming to investigate the relationship between genetic and environmental factors in the onset of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and tumours.

The authors explored the association between income and dietary habits of participants, evaluated according to specific scores of adherence to Mediterranean diet.

"We found that low-income people showed the poorest adherence to Mediterranean diet as compared to those in the uppermost group of income," Licia Iacoviello, chairperson of the Moli-sani Project, said.

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