The benefit of the mediterranean dietconsiderations to modify german food patterns.
Sommaire de l'article
BACKGROUND: In the early 1960s the occurrence of coronary heart diseases and cancer in Mediterranean countries was much lower than in other industrialised countries. The life expectancy of the Mediterranean population was higher, although medical care did not meet western standards. Studies showed that those findings were due to the Mediterranean diet and life style [1, 2]. AIM OF THE STUDY: is to investigate whether these findings are transferable to the present German diet and life style in order to take advantage of the positive effects of the Mediterranean diet and life style against the background of the still present high rate of coronary heart diseases and cancer in Germany. METHOD: Regarding the aim of the study we compared food consumption data from different years between 1961 and 1999 of four Mediterranean countries and Germany. The data for this comparison were taken from data of DAta Food NEtworking (DAFNE) based on Household Budget Surveys (HBS), and data of Food Balance Sheets (FBS). RESULTS: Compared to Mediterranean residents Germans eat less plant food, especially vegetables, cereals and pulses were consumed in lower amounts, whereas animal products were consumed in higher amounts at each meal. CONCLUSION: A transformation of components of the Mediterranean diet to the German diet is theoretically possible considering the availability of food. Nutrition has to be seen holistically and therefore the lifestyle, cultural and social aspects have to be taken into account. These aspects can help prevent the occurrence of coronary heart diseases and cancer. From a scientific point of view there is a further need of research focused on lifestyle in the context of food patterns in different European countries.