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The Mediterranean Diet is going out of fashion in the countries where it was once a daily regimen

Extra virgin olive oil and Mediterranen Diet Extra virgin olive oil and Mediterranen Diet

Global experts say the Mediterranean diet - long celebrated for its health benefits - is going out of fashion in the countries where it was once a daily regimen, and they're blaming the growth of fast food and mass tourism.

Lluis Serra-Majem, head of the International Foundation of Mediterranean Diet, said it has decreased by 70 per cent in Greece over the last 30 years and 50 per cent in Spain.

The diet is rich in starchy foods such as bread and pasta, fruit and vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, red wine, some fish, and a small amount of meat - and experts fear its devastating decline may be irreversible.

Found to varying degrees in all countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the diet was added in 2010 to Unesco's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list for seven countries - Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Portugal.
It was praised by the United Nations for promoting hospitality, neighbourliness, intercultural dialogue and creativity.

But experts are now exploring ways to revive it, from making it appealing to teenagers, to persuading people to buy fresh and sometimes costlier food in a period of economic crisis.

Less than 15 per cent of the Spanish population still eats a Mediterranean diet, while 50 to 60 per cent do so sometimes.

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