New report explores effects of lifestyle changes, globalization on world’s model diet
AO 11 June 2015, Milan - The Mediterranean region is undergoing a "nutrition transition" away from an ancient diet long considered a model for healthy living and sustainable food systems, that preserve the environment and empower local producers.
A new report by FAO and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) presented at EXPO Milano today traces the negative effects of shifting diet patterns across the Mediterranean and calls for an action program to support more sustainable diets across the region
Globalization, food marketing and changing lifestyles - including changes in the roles women play in society - are altering consumption patterns in the Mediterranean, away from fruits and legumes towards more meat and dairy products, according to the report.
While Southern Mediterranean countries continue to struggle with undernutrition, countries throughout the region increasingly struggle with obesity and overweight.
At the same time, the region as a whole is seeing a rise in chronic diet-based diseases that increasingly lead to disability and death.
Undernutrition is still a significant problem in the southern Mediterranean, as is stunting -- low height for age -- among children under five years of age in both southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.
Today's report presentation was part of Feeding Knowledge, the EXPO program for cooperation on research and innovation on food security.