and a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet has been associated with
significant improvements in health and nutritional status. It has also been
recognized as a sustainable diet because of its lower environmental impact.
– However, current data show a decline in adherence to the Mediterranean
dietary pattern in northern as well as southern and eastern Mediterranean
countries that is critically eroding the Mediterranean diet heritage, recognized
in 2010 by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
– The abandonment of traditional habits and the emergence of new lifestyles
associated with socio-economic changes pose important threats to the
preservation and transmission of the Mediterranean diet to future generations.
– It is urgent to preserve the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean diet as
an outstanding resource for sustainable development as it contributes to
promoting local production and consumption, encouraging sustainable
agriculture and safeguarding landscapes.
– The promotion and the enhancement of the Mediterranean diet is a critical issue
for sustainable development to counteract food insecurity and malnutrition in
the Mediterranean region.