Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mediterranean Diet: Not for The Poor


Italian researchers at the Catholic University of Campobasso have made the disturbing discovery that the Mediterranean Diet and its health benefits is largely inaccessible to the poor.

The study investigated whether the increasing cost of the main food products in the Mediterranean Diet coupled with the progressive impoverishment of people was contributing to the obesity pandemic affecting the countries of the Mediterranean area, including Italy.

Researchers analyzed information on income and dietary habits of over 13,000 people from the Molise region of Italy. They found that a relatively small economic difference -- 10,000 to over 40,000 Euros net per year -- led to substantial differences in dietary habits and health outcomes. Low-income people were least likely to maintain a Mediterranean Diet as compared to those in the uppermost group of income, and were more likely to consume prepackaged or junk foods that are cheaper than the fresh foods of the Mediterranean tradition.

The lowest-income category also showed a higher rate of obesity as well, at 36% of the sample compared to 20% in the uppermost income class.

Source: Moli-sani Project

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Artwork: Cucina Italiana