The birthplace of the famously healthful Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes olive oil, fresh produce and fish, is now overflowing with chocolate shops, pizza places, ice cream parlors, soda machines and fast-food restaurants.
The Mediterranean diet, which has been associated with longer life spans and lower rates of heart disease and cancer, is now more likely to be found in the upscale restaurants of London and New York than in Greece, where two-thirds of children are now overweight and the health effects are mounting.
“This is a place where you’d see people who lived to 100, where people were all fit and trim,” says Cretan pediatrician Dr. Michalis Stagourakis. “Now you see kids whose longevity is less than their parents’. That’s really scaring people.”
New York Times September 23, 2008