"A generation ago, the typical diet in all Mediterranean countries complied with nutritional recommendations by the World Health Organization that less than 10 percent of calories come from saturated fats and that less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol be consumed per day.
Today, the typical diet in all of the countries exceeds those limits significantly, Dr. Schmidhuber said. In Greece, average daily cholesterol consumption has risen to 400 milligrams from 190 in 1963. Germany’s is similar. In Portugal, consumption went to 460 milligrams from 155.
In 2002, a British study found that 31 percent to 34 percent of 12-year-olds in Greece were overweight — a 212 percent increase since 1982 — and “it has gotten worse, much worse, since then,” Dr. Stagourakis said. One-quarter of all children on Crete have cholesterol problems, he said, and seeing children with diabetes and high blood pressure is no longer uncommon.
Unlike in the United States, where obesity is more pronounced in adults than in children, in the Mediterranean region the rise in weight problems has been more common among the young. Parents’ taste buds still tend to hew to a more traditional diet." (Thanks Toufic)