Mediterranean Diet’s “extinction risk” discussed at Tavira fair

Worries that the healthy Mediterranean Diet may be on its way to “extinction” are going to be discussed this Friday (September 4) in Tavira.

The debate will be held at the city’s Mediterranean Diet Fair, taking place between September 3-6 in Tavira’s historic centre, and is organised by Movimento 2020, a project launched by the Portuguese Association of Dietitians to promote healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Zélia Santos, the head of the association, says that the debate will focus on the “nutritious and healthy values of the diet, which promotes local traditions, respects the environment and can bolster local economies”.

However, she warns that even though the diet received UNESCO recognition in 2013, it is being left forgotten.

“Our eating habits are changing,” she warns, saying that more and more people are eating ready-made meals and fast food instead of local, healthy produce.

Santos cites worrying data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which predicts that 21% of men and 22% of women in Portugal will be obese by 2020.

“If the Mediterranean Diet continues at risk of extinction, then these numbers will only increase,” she warns.

The debate will begin at 6pm at the ‘Health and Nutrition’ (Saúde e Nutrição) area of the fair. M.B.