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Exploring environmental, health and nutrition implications of Mediterranean dietary patterns

Titre
Exploring environmental, health and nutrition implications of Mediterranean dietary patterns
Résumé
Improving nutrition is of paramount importance for effectively preventing and combating non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and achieving environmental sustainability. Dietary patterns are a significant factor in a number of critical sustainability issues such as climate change; public health; social justice; biodiversity; energy, land and water use; and food and nutrition security. This paper aims at providing an overview of the main implications of the Mediterranean food consumption patterns on nutrition, health and natural resources (water, land and biodiversity). The work is based on an extended review of secondary data. FAO food balance sheets and standard footprint data were used to characterize the Mediterranean dietary patterns (MDPs) and to discuss water, carbon and ecological footprints of food consumption. The share of animal-based energy in the MDPs is lower than in North European and American ones. MDPs promote the use of a wide range of cereals, fruit and vegetables. About 2,300 plant species are consumed in the Mediterranean. Moreover, the use of less animal-source foods reduces the impacts of the livestock sector on biodiversity and natural resources. Adherence to the traditional MDP allows meeting better nutrient and micronutrients requirements for a healthy and active life. There is strong evidence on the beneficial effect of the MDP on death risk from obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. The per capita ecological footprint, water footprint and carbon footprint in the Mediterranean, especially in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, are lower than those recorded in North Europe and North America. Nevertheless, food consumption represents the highest share of water footprint of consumption in the Mediterranean. Promotion of more sustainable diets in the Mediterranean - through increased adherence to the traditional MDP - can contribute to NCDs prevention and sustainable natural resources management.
Plus
Année
2013
Publié en
20th International Congress of Nutrition, September 15–20, 2013, Granada, Spain. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 63 (suppl. 1)
02/07/14 - Introduit par: Hamid El bilali
Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health
Thème principal: Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health