Doctors emphasise health benefits of Mediterranean diet

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The health costs associated with obesity are considerable, primarily driven by the increasing rates of heart disease and diabetes that it causes. The government estimates that type 2 diabetes costs the NHS over £1.5m an hour.

Although the Mediterranean diet has long been regarded as a healthy way of eating, it is not typically touted as a primary weight loss solution. Official NHS advice on weight loss encourages people to monitor their calorie intake, but this may lead to solutions that are not necessarily effective.

The desire to reduce calories among the general and increasingly health-conscious population has given rise to a diet industry that profits from recommending ways of eating that emphasise calories over nutrition.

The editorial published in the PMJ may lead to a new spotlight on Mediterranean foods and a changing public conversation on what it means to eat healthily. A Mediterranean diet is typically high in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and olive oil.

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