Comparison of Current Eating Habits in Various Mediterranean Countries

  • Rosalba Giacco
  • Gabriele Riccardi


The Mediterranean diet, as a model of a healthful diet, has been the subject of several studies since World War II. The term Mediterranean diet was first used by Ancel Keys, an American physiologist, in his book How to Eat Well and Stay Well: the Mediterranean Way (Keys and Keys 1975). At the end of World War II, the Keyses’ theory regarding the importance of a well-balanced diet in maintaining health began to solidify: They proposed a relationship between the eating habits of populations of different geographical areas and the distribution of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Prof. Keys’s insight was confirmed by the results of the Seven Countries Study, which showed that the Mediterranean countries, where cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality are low, have particularly low serum cholesterol levels compared to countries such as Finland and the United States, where the incidence of cardiovascular diseases is higher. These diversities can be partly explained by the difference in the intake of saturated fatty acids in the various populations (Keys 1970; Keys et al. 1986).


Coronary Heart Disease Saturated Fatty Acid Eating Habit Mediterranean Diet Mediterranean Country 
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© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalba Giacco
  • Gabriele Riccardi

There are no affiliations available

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