OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

A Study of Diet in Spain: Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy

TitleA Study of Diet in Spain: Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsCarey, Leslie A.
Academic DepartmentGeneral Science
Thesis AdvisorRossignol, Anne
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in General Science
Number of Pages35
Date Published05/2001
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
KeywordsCoronary heart disease, diet, Mediterranean diet, Spain
Abstract

This study examines the Mediterranean diet in Spain through observation, personal interviews, and a review of the literature. The objective of the study is to determine whether the Mediterranean diet is beneficial to overall health and, if so, to understand the reasons why. The topic is relevant because of the high incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the United States and the low incidence of CHD in Spain, in combination with the fact that life expectancy in Spain is higher than is the life expectancy in the United States. It is important to study the typical Spanish diet, also known as the Mediterranean diet, in order to determine whether diet influences these trends in health. The study includes a review of the Mediterranean diet, an overview of CHD, a discussion of studies supporting the Mediterranean diet as well as its individual components including olive oil, wine, fish, fiber, fruits, and vegetables, a critical view of the Mediterranean diet, and finally, conclusions about the health implications of the Mediterranean diet. The final conclusion is that the Mediterranean diet, when eaten as originally construed, is a healthful diet but, additionally, that lifestyle in Spain and the Mediterranean basin likely contributes to superior health in those countries.