Lluís Serra Majem, president of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Food Sciences and full academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), defended the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, of which he is a profound connoisseur and a firm defender, in an interview granted to the specialized channel informativos.net. The academician reported that international organizations calculate that in a decade Spain will become the longest-lived country in the world, ahead of Japan. And this can only be due to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, together with the increasingly healthy habits, a model of accessible and quality public health and a society increasingly formed. However, he warned, we must safeguard this feeding model to safeguard that rising line of longevity and quality of life.
“The Mediterranean diet is considered the best food model in the world, and now the challenge is to take it to the most vulnerable sectors. It’s no use preaching about its benefits if we aren’t able to take it to all social strata when other less healthy eating models they have managed to impose themselves in all corners of the world,” he said. “The countries of southern Europe, the most affected by the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, are those that paradoxically, according to the World Health Organization, have a higher percentage of obese children despite the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. And that’s because processed foods win the battle in the humblest shopping baskets”, he warned.
Serra Majem considered that, beyond the economy, there are other aspects that threaten what is considered the perfect diet worldwide: the pollution of Mediterranean fish. “The fish don’t grow because of the consumption of microplastics or they have indecent concentrations of toxins” he said, demanding a quick and decisive intervention by the administrations.
Doctor in Medicine and Surgery, Serra Majem is professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. He is founder and president of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Food Sciences, the Foundation for Nutritional Research and the NGO Nutrition Without Borders. He also chairs the board of the European Hydration Institute and the scientific committee of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation.
Throughout his long career he has written or edited more than 70 books on nutrition, preventive medicine and public health and is the author of more than 800 articles on the subject, where he synthesizes his studies. In his admission at the RAED he presented the work “Dieta mediterránea: una visión global” (Mediterranean diet: a global vision), where after defining the benefits of a varied and balanced diet that have shared various civilizations of the Mediterranean arc and is now internationally recognized, urges the health authorities of all the world to set the challenge of making it reach the most disadvantaged sectors of their societies. In June he presented in Barcelona with Javier Aranceta, full academician of the RAED, president of the scientific committee of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition and president of the Royal Academy of Medicine of the Basque Country, the “Guía de la alimentación saludable para atención primaria y colectivos ciudadanos” (Guide of healthy eating for primary care and citizen groups).