World Food Day is celebrated each year on October 16 (World Food Day) to commemorate the founding ofFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The theme of the transformation of agri-food systems, chosen this year for World Food Day, underlined that the food we choose and the way we consume it have repercussions on both our health and that of the planet. It is time to reflect on the future to be built together: accelerate the transformation towards more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for a better and more sustainable world. 

Initiatives

Collective action in 150 countries is what makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated days on the UN calendar. Hundreds of events and outreach activities on October 16 brought together governments, companies, NGOs, the media and the public to promote global awareness and action for all those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. 

World Food Day at Expo 2020 Dubai

At Expo Dubai on the occasion of World Food Day, experts from all over the world gathered in a series of round tables where they discussed food safety and future solutions.

โ€œWe are global citizens and we need to do our part and help others. Our national food security strategy will make the UAE a world-leading center for innovation-driven food security over the next 30 years ". He has declared His Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and Environment

Italian Pavilion presents the Mediterranean Diet at Expo 2020 Dubai

In the year in which Italy has the presidency of the G20 "People Planet Prosperity", highlight the strategic value for the whole humanity of Mediterranean diet, recognized in 2010 as an intangible heritage of humanity, was the main theme of the forum which took place in the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, organized in collaboration with the Future Food Institute and the Italian Agri-food Technological Cluster, with the support of โ€œAngelo Vassalloโ€ Mediterranean Diet Study Center.

Future Food Institute deals with the Mediterranean diet and has inaugurated the international campus "Paidea" โ€œIn Pollica, Unesco emblematic community of the Mediterranean diet, where we train the new generations on issues related to sustainable developmentโ€œ, explained to the Journal of Italian Healthcare World Sara Roversi, President of the Future Food Institute.

Sara Roversi - President of the Future Food Institute

Mediterranean diet: scientific evidence and sustainability

The Mediterranean diet provides for the consumption of foods respecting their seasonality. This leads to a reduction in greenhouse crops and related environmental impacts, as well as in procurement and transport costs.

As demonstrated by the scientific evidence, to date the Mediterranean Diet (MD) represents a real model of a healthy and sustainable diet, with positive results in terms of prevention both on longevity and on chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and arterial hypertension.

Conference "Analyzing the secret of longevity in Mediterranean populations " Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Unfortunately, there has been a gradual abandonment of the Mediterranean diet in favor of less healthy eating habits due to globalization and the economic crisis of the last decade. It is therefore important to take stock of the situation in Mediterranean countries, on the results obtained from large population studies, but also on the danger that this eating style may gradually disappear.

Is it possible to propose the Mediterranean food model also to countries that do not have this tradition? 

Will knowledge of human biology and the expression of our genes in relation to the foods we eat be useful in preventing chronic diseases and promoting healthy aging?

These are the questions at the center of the conference debate "Analyzing the secret of longevity in Mediterranean populations" which was held within the Academy of Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, organized in collaboration with the National Technology Cluster Life Sciences ALISEI,IRCCS Neuromed of Pozzilli (Isernia) e the company La Molisana.ย 

At the event took part, in presence and online, Italian and international experts in the field of scientific research on the Mediterranean diet, among others: Ramon Estruch, professor inUniversity of Barcelona and Scientific Director of Foundation for the Mediterranean diet, one of the most influential scientists in the world and the professor Antonia Trichopoulou, President of the Hellenic Health Foundation, Professor Emeritus Faculty of Medicine of Athens, as well as the world's leading scientific exponent on the Mediterranean diet.

The moderators were Enzo Grossi, Scientific advisor of ALISEI e Marco Patriciello, President of Pro.Med, Neuromed Holding. "Talking about the Mediterranean diet at the Italian Pavilion, the country that was its cradle, is of great importance not only for the Mediterranean countries, but globally - he said Enzo Grossi - Through this Cluster initiative, we want to raise awareness among participants on the issue and make it possible to transfer the traditional Mediterranean diet to non-Mediterranean populations, also by debunking and addressing the false myths that have been created and spread over time. This is the focus of this workshop that we are pleased to have promoted, and which will benefit from the contribution of the world's leading scientific exponents โ€. 

The Mediterranean diet has become an increasingly popular topic of great interest not only in Mediterranean countries, but globally. However, several false myths should be addressed and dispelled, particularly those that label a dietary pattern that is not in line with the traditional Mediterranean diet as โ€œMediterraneanโ€.

The transferability of the traditional Mediterranean diet to non-Mediterranean populations is certainly possible, but it requires a multitude of changes in eating habits. The professor was the one who dealt with this topic Antonia Trichopoulou, President of the Hellenic Health Foundation, Professor Emeritus Faculty of Medicine of Athens, as well as the world's leading scientific exponent on the Mediterranean diet.

The health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

"Over the years, the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been supported by numerous epidemiological studies conducted all over the world, and more recently confirmed by the Moli-Sani study, one of the most important population studies ever carried out in our country and which has become over time a point of reference for world epidemiology. Passing on the Mediterranean heritage to future generations today means going back to its roots, retracing the complexity of this lifestyle which is not just a healthy model to defeat chronic diseases and improve survival: it is an overall lifestyle, a true cultural heritage ". Has explained Licia Iacoviello, Director of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of the Neuromed IRCCS Mediterranean Neurological Institute of Pozzilli (which with a Biobanking Center currently hosts biological samples collected in the Moli-Sani study, ed) and Ordinary of Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Insubria in Varese. 

IRCCS Neuromed researchers, Marialaura Bonaccio e Maria Benedetta Donati, in addition to presenting the indications derived from the Moli-sani project and the perspectives that derive from it, have dealt with the issue of the transferability of the traditional Mediterranean diet to non-Mediterranean populations. For researchers it is possible to propose the model of the Mediterranean diet on a global level, but it must be adapted taking into account the cultural, social, behavioral and product sourcing peculiarities of individual countries and geographical areas.

Studio Moli-Sani

The Moli-Sani Project is a prospective epidemiological study started in 2005.

It involved 25,000 people from the Molise region with the aim of investigating the balance between the environment and genetics in the prevention and development of the main chronic degenerative diseases. With 90 international scientific publications, numerous results have already emerged from the study on common risk factors, their determinants and their association with total, cardiovascular and cancer mortality.

The data

Of particular interest are the data on the dependence of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on people's socio-economic status and in particular on their income and level of education and the dramatic effect that the economic crisis of recent years has had on this healthy lifestyle. .

The available data of the Moli-Sani Project can be a very advantageous tool for health planning and for the direct provision of interventions in the field of disease prevention and prediction, reflecting the real needs of the population, which are difficult to assess through traditional information flows.

PREDIMED study

Substantial tests have verified the nutritional adequacy of the Mediterranean diet, its long-term sustainability and its effectiveness for the prevention of serious clinical events of cardiovascular disease, as well as the increase in longevity. 

Ramon Estruch, professor at the University of Barcelona and Scientific Director of the Foundation for the Mediterranean diet and of the PREDIMED study, one of the most influential scientists in the world, presented the results of "Prevention with the Mediterranean diet", PREDIMED, the first intervention study carried out on the Mediterranean food model which evaluated in a Mediterranean population the effect of the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil and walnuts on cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Outcomes

Researchers found that consuming a traditional Mediterranean diet supplemented with 40-50g of extra virgin olive oil and / or 30g of mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts) per day decreased coronary heart disease and the incidence of diabetes and improves brain function and the immune system

The highlights of the event in the short video. 

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