It is frequently cited as one of the healthiest diets in the world thanks to a high proportion of fruit, vegetables, nuts, pulses and olive oil, and in 2013 it was added to UNESCO’s list of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage.
But, speaking at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna earlier this year, the Head WHO's European Office for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) João Breda declared it to be dead.
“The Mediterranean diet for the children in these countries is gone," he said. “There is no Mediterranean diet any more. Those who are close to the Mediterranean diet are the Swedish kids. The Mediterranean diet is gone and we need to recover it.”