Promoting and Implementing the Mediterranean Diet in the Southern Hemisphere: the Chilean Experience.

Abstract:

:Increasing scientific evidence shows that the Mediterranean lifestyle -including a characteristic dietary pattern as well as psychosocial and cultural features- has beneficial effects on human health. However, production and use of some of the distinctive components (e.g., olive oil, red wine, nuts, legumes, fish and seafood) of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) are not exclusively confined to the Mediterranean Basin, but are also found in other world regions, including California, Southwestern Australia, South Africa, and Chile. Central Chile exhibits a Mediterranean climate and Chilean agriculture and culinary traditions show striking similarities to Mediterranean countries. Using a MedDiet index adapted to food habits in Chile, we found that only 10% of the adult population displays this healthy eating behavior. Furthermore, high scores in the MedDiet index correlate with lower prevalence of overweight, obesity, and metabolic syndrome in Chilean adults. High adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet is also associated with better psychological wellbeing. Finally, a pilot study investigating the effects of a Mediterranean diet in Chile -as part of a 'food-at-work intervention'- showed a significant improvement in diet quality which was associated with a 35% reduction in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. Increased appreciation and application of a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern may therefore improve health and quality of life in the population of Chile, where non-communicable chronic diseases are increasingly common.

journal_name

Eur J Clin Nutr

authors

Echeverría G,Dussaillant C,McGee EE,Mena C,Nitsche MP,Urquiaga I,Bitran M,Pedrals N,Rigotti A

doi

10.1038/s41430-018-0307-7

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2019-07-01 00:00:00

pages

38-46

issue

Suppl 1

eissn

0954-3007

issn

1476-5640

pii

10.1038/s41430-018-0307-7

journal_volume

72

pub_type

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