Olive Oil Times recently reported that obesity in teenagers could easily be curbed by simply increasing the intake of foods found within the Mediterranean diet.
This has already been proven true when tested with adults, but very few studies have been done regarding these young adults.
However, Flora Bacopoulou, of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens recently stated, “I vehemently believe that the Mediterranean diet is the best diet possible for adolescents—something already proved for adults on a global level.”
While the studies are few, recent research in Greece is proving that the same results experienced by adults are also true for teens who adhere closely to the Mediterranean diet. The study, “Mediterranean Diet Decreases Adolescent Waist Circumference” appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. It consisted of 1,610 young people—age range included those between the years of 12 and 17.
The study was made to specifically measure the reduction of child obesity and lasted for a period of 6 months. While a change in diet was a major component, students assigned to the program also committed to regular exercise. Teenagers were educated on healthy body image, along with healthy eating behaviors.
Bacopoulou explained: “For adolescent health, the scientific literature is scarce, let alone the fact that Med diet is constantly being abandoned by young people. Schools are designated places for promoting intervention in order to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity. In our study we placed heavy emphasis on nutritional education, physical activity and body image awareness, targeting all different levels of influence on adolescent health, their parents, teachers, and school/community health staff. Such interventions using a systems-level approach, as well as interactions and relationships between levels, show the greatest impact for primary prevention.”
At My Olive Tree we are greatly encouraged by research like this, as extra virgin olive oil is one of the main components of this nutrient-rich lifestyle.
However, a recent study shared by CNBC stated that, “The second study found 17 percent of children and teens are obese and 5.8 percent were extremely obese. Obesity in kids is measured a little bit differently—it's how heavy they are compared to other kids the same age and height. Those weighing more than 95 percent of kids the same age are considered obese.
“Obesity has decreased a little among the youngest children, the researchers noted, but it's still going up among teens.”
While evidence continues to point toward replacing the standard American diet with the Mediterranean, many children across the United States continue to struggle with weight gain—without a consistent commitment to changes in eating habits and exercise, the issue persists.
Yet, we know how difficult it can be to make major lifestyle changes when confronted with a busy schedule. At My Olive Tree we’re not only committed to keeping you up-to-date on current olive oil news and events, but we also love to hunt down extra tasty recipes that are both delicious and healthy for the whole family. It is our hope that in doing so, you and your family will begin to see the greater results as you commit to developing healthier habits!
Here is a great recipe that is perfect for the entire family! Instead of that weekly pizza habit… try replacing it with these delicious Caprese Style Portobellos found at prouditaliancook.com:
Caprese Style Portobellos
- Large portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Shredded or fresh mozzarella (although I've tried both I prefer the dryer shredded version for this because of the moisture factor seeping out)
- Fresh basil
- Olive oil
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
- Brush the caps and rims with olive oil on each mushroom.
- Slice cherry or grape tomatoes in half, place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil. Add chopped basil, salt and pepper. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
- Place your cheese on the bottom of the mushroom cap, spoon on the tomato basil mixture and bake until cheese melts and mushrooms are cooked but not overcooked.