The Mediterranean diet has achieved many distinctions, from the inclusion by the UNESCO in the World Heritage list to a series of dedicated congresses and meetings held everywhere around the globe with the aim of promoting its healthy properties against the most threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease and tumors.
Although Mediterranean diet is acclaimed by the scientific community as the best dietary paradigm, it seems to be ignored in Mediterranean Countries too. How could this happen? The deep socioeconomic and cultural changes that occurred in the contemporary societies during the last few decades are a likely explanation. Lack of time and the substantial revolution in the structure of families may have led to a radical change in lifestyle and eating habits. More recently researchers started to investigate the role of economics in the eating habits of people, especially when economic crisis began to scare the food trolley of millions of families worldwide.
Recent studies have stressed the role of socioeconomic factors in the lifestyle of population, including dietary habits. Low income, lower educational level and living in the suburbs do represent a significant risk factor for health. Lately the Moli-sani project - an epidemiological study conducted in Italy on 25,000 adult subjects - showed that people with low income had lower adherence to Mediterranean diet and higher prevalence of obesity, a common risk factor for chronic diseases. Socioeconomic inequalities appear to be the biggest challenge for modern societies to guarantee health coverage for all.
*You may also be interested in the article from Thursday, Nutrition and Mediterranean Diet - What are the benefits in prevention?