Ah, the Mediterranean diet olive oil, fish, vegetables, red wine. It's a diet consisting of light and natural fare with heart-healthy and cancer-fighting benefits that has received plenty of press for its life-lengthening properties.
But now, the Mediterranean Diet is being replaced in its birthplace by the fast food diet, according to the New York Times.
Pizza, soda and burgers are now widely available in places associated with the Mediterranean diet, such as Greece, Italy and Spain, and the result is rising obesity rates in children there.
Dr. Michalis Stagourakis, a pediatrician in western Crete, is mentioned in the article. He says over the past few years he's seen more young patients suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol due to this change in diet.
In Greece, the government is promoting nutritional education to help guide chubby kids toward better habits.
The article says that in the 1990s scientists noted that people in Mediterranean countries lived longer and had low rates of serious disease, despite being active smokers and drinkers. But the recent change in diet means less protection from those habits.
This summer, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization determined that the regions diet had decayed into a moribund state, according to the Times.
One couple in Greece who was interviewed in the story had their 9-year-old daughter on a diet, and said: "Were trying to keep her off sugar now. If we continue like this, were going to become like Americans, and no one wants that.
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