Affluence is changing Spanish diet: expert

13th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2007, SANTANDER - (EFE)- Spain has gone from being a "hungry" country to a "satiated society," with an excess of foods of all kinds, a representative of the Spanish Agency for Food Security and Nutrition said here Wednesday.

13 September 2007

SANTANDER - (EFE)- Spain has gone from being a "hungry" country to a "satiated society," with an excess of foods of all kinds, a representative of the Spanish Agency for Food Security and Nutrition said here Wednesday.

Ismael Diaz Yubero gave a lecture in a course about nutrition at the International Menendez Pelayo University in the northern city of Santander, a course in which the president of the Spanish Society for Community Nutrition, Javier Aranceta, also participated.

According to Diaz Yubero, Spain is consuming more and more fats and proteins and fewer carbohydrates, and therefore the diseases related to nutrition have changed over the years.

He added, however, that while some principles of the typical Mediterranean diet have fallen by the wayside in recent years, Spain continues to be, in some regards, a model for diet around the world and one of the countries with the longest life expectancies thanks to the typical fare consumed by the citizenry.

He said that Spain balances its intake of fats with a high consumption of fish and vegetables and with the generally high quality of all the food products available here.

Diaz Yubero also emphasized the impact of the Spanish diet and said that the country's dietary model is followed by the most well-known cooks and chefs, but not only as concerns culinary techniques but also in the foods that are produced, like so-called acorn ham.

Aranceta, for his part, said that the "detour" from the Mediterranean diet in the future could have a negative impact on the population's health due to the predominance of prepared products, of foods high in saturated fats and due to the consumption of baked goods and snacks, which have scanty nutritional value.

"Now there are metabolic diseases resulting from obesity and psychological ones like bulimia" and others that affect Spaniards, he said.

He added that "just 40 percent of young people participate in school sports programs," and thus there is a high prevalence of sedentary youths.

Therefore, he urged professors and family doctors to work together to effect a change in the public's dietary habits and to encourage people to engage in more physical activity in their free time to combat obesity in the children and adolescents. EFE

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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