Commodities consumed in Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean countries compared with Australia in 1960s and 1990s.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003; 12(1):23-9.AP
Consumption figures for 15 major commodities (cereals, wheat, rice, maize, potato, pulses, olive oil, other vegetable oils, vegetables, fruits, wine, meats, animal fats, milk + products, and fish + seafood) were collected from FAO Food Balance Sheets during the 1960s (1961-1969) and late 1990s (1995-1999). For some nutritionists the "model Mediterranean diet" is the Italian or Greek diet of the 1960s, for others the concept of Mediterranean countries is more general. Analysis shows: (1) In the 1960s, Australia consumed more meat, milk, animal fat than Italy or Greece and less cereals, wheat, pulses, olive oil, vegetables, fruits and wine. (2) In the 1960s, Australia's olive oil, vegetables, fruits and wine consumption were within the range for all 18 Mediterranean countries (i.e. Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco). (3) In the 1990s, food consumptions have evolved; Australia's wine and milk consumption is now similar to Italy and Greece; consumption of wheat, olive oil, vegetables, fruits and fish are lower; consumption of potato, pulses, other vegetable oils and meat are higher than Italy or Greece. (4) Australia's consumption of the 15 commodities is within the range of all Mediterranean countries in the late 1990s, except wheat consumption was lower.