November 29, 2010

Advance Notice

Emory and Italy explore diet and health

The first Emory conference on the implications of the Mediterranean diet and health is set for Friday, Dec. 3 in the Claudia Nance Rollins auditorium of the Rollins School of Public Health.

The all-day conference is sponsored by Rollins and Federsanità-ANCI, a community health and public health service confederation in Italy.

"The Mediterranean diet is not a 'diet,' but rather a pattern of eating habits traditionally followed by people in the Mediterranean regions in the early 1960s," explains Viola Vaccarino, one of the conference's chairs.  "It is characterized by high consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, complex carbohydrates and nuts, moderate consumption of fish and red wine during meals, low consumption of red meat, and olive oil as the main source of fat."

Speakers from Emory and a number of educational and health institutions in Italy will discuss the diet’s relationship to cardiovascular disease, neuropsychiatric disorders and women and trends in cancer, among others.

Peggy Barlett, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology, will speak on “The Emory Experience: Food and Sustainability.”

Vaccarino, professor and chair of the department of epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health and a professor in the School of Medicine, co-chairs the conference with Guglielmo Trovato, University of Catania, in Sicily.

Trovato's group are in charge of the “Italian Mediterranean Project.” This project, funded by an agency of the Italian Ministry of Nutrition and Agriculture and executed through Federsanita` ANCI, promotes health, and the Mediterranean diet is a focus of the project.

The conference is part of a series of activities that coincide with the naming of the Mediterranean diet to the UNESCO list for world heritage, Vaccarino notes.

Download the flyer for more information about the conference (PDF).

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