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Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's become of Mediterranean Diet Central?

A lot has changed since the famous Seven Countries Study, in which Ancel Keyes creatively presented data that would support his hypothesis that a diet high in saturated fat leads to heart disease, and that a diet low in saturated fat protects against it.

Rosenthal, who evidently hasn't read Good Calories, Bad Calories, mistakenly dates the identification of Crete as an exemplar of good nutrition from the early 1990s, but Keyes put forth his views in the 1950s.


Flood of junk food puts Greeks at risk
By Elisabeth Rosenthal
Published: September 24, 2008
International Herald Tribune (an international version of the New York Times)


KASTELI, Greece: Dr. Michalis Stagourakis has seen a transformation of his pediatric practice here over the past three years. The usual sniffles and stomachaches of childhood are now suddenly interspersed with far more serious conditions: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. A changing diet, he says, has produced an epidemic of obesity and related maladies.

Small towns like this one in western Crete, considered the birthplace of the famously healthful Mediterranean diet - emphasizing olive oil, fresh produce and fish - are now overflowing with chocolate shops, pizza places, ice cream parlors, soda machines and fast-food joints....