The Mediterranean diet not only benefits people in adulthood, but has been shown to greatly improve the quality of life when followed from a young age.
MAGISNAT (www.magisnat.com), an innovative spin-off based at Atlanta Tech Park in Peachtree Corners (GA), dedicated one of its Monday to discuss this issue (https://magisnat-rd.com/third-week-of-march-2023/ ).
Specifically, the meeting concerned the importance of spreading and teaching a Mediterranean lifestyle as early as possible, so even among young children.
Many studies have shown that people who adopted a Mediterranean lifestyle at an early age experienced fewer health problems once they became adults, significantly reducing the rate of contracting specific diseases, such as Non-communicable Diseases (NCDS), cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
Further benefits emerged, especially, when mothers followed a Mediterranean-style diet during pregnancy. This ensured that their children were already healthy and predisposed to follow this type of positive lifestyle (https://www.jpmh.org/index.php/jpmh/article/view/2748/1012).
In the face of this, it is important that parents—and particularly expecting mothers—are taught the Mediterranean lifestyle and that children are educated about proper nutrition from an early age. The Mediterranean lifestyle is also characterized by the habit to moderate physical activity and an active social life, which are important to be taught as soon as possible.
About nutrition, it is of course essential that people begin taking in all micronutrients and vitamins from an early age, to have good growth and develop a healthy body.
Specifically, it is important to consume seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes, grains (preferably whole grains), fish, small amounts of meat and dairy products. Moreover, it is preferable to use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as condiment.
Unfortunately, modern life does not facilitate the intake of these foods, as people are constantly in a hurry and parents are always busy with work and children’s activities. In addition, there are hundreds and hundreds of snacks of all possible kinds on the market, sources mainly of fats that, because of their convenience of consumption, are preferred over more wholesome foods, such as fruit.
Moreover, the preponderant use of computers, smartphones, tablets and the television does not entice people, especially children, to engage in physical activity.
To make it easier for their children, parents prefer to put them in front of an electronic device than to take them to practice a sport.
MAGISNAT is aware of all these difficulties characterizing today’s world and is trying to find solutions to spread the Mediterranean lifestyle not only to adults, but also to new generations.
It is an arduous and complex goal, but this does not demoralize and stop the work of MAGISNAT’s American and Italian professors and researchers, as this project is truly important and revolutionary, allowing for concrete improvements in the well-being of the population.