The study of the relationship between the Mediterranean way of eating and the occurrence of diseases typical of the economically developed countries has been considered the starting point of nutritional epidemiology. From the Seven Countries Study in the 1950s to the recent European EPIC collaboration, the evaluation of the components of diet-affecting chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer has been crucially based on the analysis of foods and nutrients characterizing the Mediterranean dietary habits. This long research history has been marked by a consistency of data over time when either single nutrients/food groups or more complex dietary patterns have been analyzed: The Mediterranean way of eating is a protective tool from cardiovascular diseases and many cancers. Italy has been a natural point of observation, starting from cardiovascular disease in the mid-1950s and continuing with major cancers. In spite of unfavorable lifestyle changes in the Italian population mostly due to globalization of unhealthy habits (richer diet and lower levels of physical activity), those individuals still close to the Mediterranean style are significantly protected. The very recent Italian data derived from the observation of about 50, 000 individuals, participating in the Italian cohorts of the EPIC study, confirm these findings and are consistent with results from other European populations and in some cases also from North American populations. Moreover, several dietary trials suggest that such a way of eating improves both the metabolic risk condition for chronic disease and the occurrence of those diseases. In conclusion, a way of eating inspired by a Mediterranean dietary pattern is not only based on evidence but is also a palatable style that has contributed to protection from the epidemic of chronic diseases.
|Titolo:||Mediterranean dietary pattern and chronic diseases|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|