Startling, sad news about children’s health from the front page of the New York Times.
“Fast Food Hits Mediterranean; a Diet Succumbs” is one of the most upsetting health articles in quite some time. It’s the sad, sad tale about children in Greece – the birthplace of the Mediterranean diet (the ideal for much of the Western world nutritional experts) – who are becoming obese and developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome at epidemic rates. Sounds familiar, right? Well, it turns out one of America’s greatest exports, the Standard American Diet (SAD), is responsible for this depressing trend. Fast food has replaced locally grown healthy food in many small towns in Greece. An entire generation of youngsters are becoming victims of our sad American lifestyle – poor quality nutrition and a sedentary/media-saturated existence. The article points out that 3/4 of the Greek population is overweight or obese, the “worst rate in Europe ‘by far’ according to the United Nations.” The numbers of overweight teenagers in Greece is surging, as well. They’re rapidly catching up to the U.S., where nearly 1/3 of children ages 2-19 were measured as overweight according to 2006 statistics. It’s nice to know we’re still seen as a world leader in some areas.