Greece is smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean region that is famous for its healthy diet. Cuisine rich in omega 3s, fresh fruit and vegetables is all about supporting optimal heart health. But now its citizens are ironically dealing with increased cases of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems. That’s because, like the U.S., they are also dealing with the unhealthy creep of soda machines and fast food restaurants in their neighborhoods.
Here’s an interesting and curious predicament: Greece, Italy, Spain and Morocco have actually asked UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to designate their diet as an “intangible piece of cultural heritage.” They are actually worried that their dietary heritage could be near extinction!
“This is a place where you’d see people who lived to 100, where people were all fit and trim,” Dr. Stagourakis said. “Now you see kids whose longevity is less than their parents’. That’s really scaring people.”
In Greece, three-quarters of the adult population is overweight or obese, the worst rate in Europe “by far,” according to the United Nations. Here’s more on the issue from The New York Times.