Fast Food Pounds Mediterranean

Mediterranean diet dumped for fast food and growing girths
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2008 5:52 AM CDT
Health officials in Mediterranean countries blame the rise of fast food for people turning away from traditional diets.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – The much-vaunted Mediterranean diet is falling out of favor fast around the Mediterranean —and obesity rates are rocketing, the New York Times reports. Greek men are now the fattest people in Europe by far as the traditional diet high in vegetables and fish but low in meat is replaced by pizza and burgers in even the smallest towns.

Health officials worried about plunging life expectancies are striving to promote the benefits of the traditional diet. But they're battling an aggressive marketing of convenience foods—as well as cultures with a history of hunger now happy to indulge chubby children. "You don’t want your child complaining or feeling left out, so you give him what he wants," said one Cretan woman as her stocky son finished an ice cream cone.