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Mediterra

 

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MEDITERRA

THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET FOR SUSTAINABLE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT


The 2012 edition of Mediterra takes the mobilising potential of the Mediterranean Diet as a basis and proposes a multidimensional itinerary involving sociodemographics, health, ecology, enterprise, geo-economics and citizens’ initiative.


Consumers in the countries of the Mediterranean Basin have progressively changed their dietary practices as they have gradually become caught up in the dynamics of urbanisation and the globalisation of agricultural trade. They are adhering less and less to the Mediterranean Diet, despite the fact that it is the basis of their identity and one of the major assets of the region. Pressures on natural resources and the emergence of new private actors are compounding the complexity of diet-related issues.


Already the subject of widespread sociocultural and scientific debate and research, the Mediterranean Diet merits  reconsideration from the political point of view given the growing awareness of the strategic dimension of agriculture and the crucial role played by food production in the stability and development of societies. This diet, whose health-promoting virtues are widely recognised and which UNESCO has now listed as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, is now raising questions in the fields of environmental responsibility and political action to promote greater regional cooperation.


This report has been produced under the direction of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), which is an intergovernmental organisation for training, research and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, food and sustainable rural development in the Mediterranean region.

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Mediterranean diet pyramid today. Science and cultural updates

PUBLIC HEALT NUTRITION


Objective: To present the Mediterranean diet (MD) pyramid: a lifestyle for today.

Design: A new graphic representation has been conceived as a simplified main frame to be adapted to the different nutritional and socio-economic contexts of the Mediterranean region. This review gathers updated recommendations considering the lifestyle, dietary, sociocultural, environmental and health challenges that the current Mediterranean populations are facing.
Setting and Subjects: Mediterranean region and its populations.

Results: Many innovations have arisen since previous graphical representations of the MD. First, the concept of composition of the ‘main meals’ is introduced to reinforce the plant-based core of the dietary pattern. Second, frugality and moderation is emphasised because of the major public health challenge of obesity. Third, qualitative cultural and lifestyle elements are taken into account, such as conviviality, culinary activities, physical activity and adequate rest, along with proportion and frequency recommendations of food consumption. These innovations are made without omitting other items associated with the production, selection, processing and consumption of foods, such as seasonality, biodiversity, and traditional, local and eco-friendly products.

Conclusions: Adopting a healthy lifestyle and preserving cultural elements should be considered in order to acquire all the benefits from the MD and preserve this cultural heritage. Considering the acknowledgment of the MD as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO (2010), and taking into account its contribution to health and general well-being, we hope to contribute to a much better adherence to this healthy dietary pattern and its way of life with this new graphic representation.

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Appello per un'Azione Comune sul Cibo nel Mediterraneo
3° Forum EuroMediterraneo sulle Culture Alimentari


Aula Magna dell'Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
30 Settembre - 1° Ottobre 2005