Mediterranean Diet Milestones

Since the introduction of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid in 1993, Oldways and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance have moved the consumer needle toward healthier eating, with a wide range of programs that have:

Increased sales of Mediterranean foods
Between 1998 and 2008 it’s estimated that hummus sales increased from about $5 million annually to nearly $143 million. From the mid-90s to 2009, U.S. olive oil imports rose more than 137%. Foods like sun-dried tomatoes, pita bread, and Greek yogurt were virtually unknown when we began our Med Diet work in 1993, but Med Diet foods like these are now household favorites, in part through our pioneering efforts.

Promoted hundreds of positive, informative media articles
Each year, we take part in scores of articles, and our Med Diet Pyramid appears regularly in nutrition textbooks, newsletters and trade and consumer press. Our efforts in recent years have reached millions of people, giving our cause and our MFA members wide visibility in consumer and trade outlets including Consumer Reports, CNN, Cooking Light, Good Housekeeping, Health, Newsweek, Supermarket News, and The New York Times to name a few.

Raised Med Diet awareness, with successful events & outreach
Over two decades, we’ve held almost 50 conferences, symposiums, and culinary trips featuring the traditional foods of the Mediterranean Diet. We’ve toured Tunisia, Tuscany, and Turkey with journalists and chefs; educated doctors and scientists in Boston, Bordeaux and Beijing; and held events from San Francisco to Sicily. We regularly provide support materials to health professionals and partners.

Influenced nutrition policy and public attitudes for the better
We began our work on the Med Diet during the low-fat decade of the 1990s, and were instrumental in moving U.S. policy to one that advocated moderate levels of good fats, rather than simply low levels of all fats. Later, in the early 2000s, we countered the low-carb craze with solid science, including our “Pasta Fights Back” campaign and extensive work promoting healthier grain choices.

Inspired a wealth of web-based resources
Our two decades of work on the Mediterranean Diet have generated a wealth of resources for consumers, manufacturers, health professionals, and media, including:

  • Our well-known Mediterranean Diet Pyramid graphic. For health promotion: as a free low-res download, or in poster form at our store.
  • Proceedings and scientific consensus statements from many of our events. These materials help disseminate conference messages long after the event.
  • Recipes and cooking tips for economical and delicious meals. We want to make it easy for everyone to eat well.
  • Fresh Fridays e-newsletters. We archive our popular consumer emails on our website for easy access.
  • Information on Mediterranean foods and ingredients. We also note which foods bear our Pyramid and Med Mark, on packaging.
  • Health studies showing the many benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. New research appears every month, and we make it all available in one place.

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