Mediterranean Diet Timeline: Child of the 80s

Child of the 80s is my first timeline charting the recognition of Mediterranean Diet as a healthy eating style. So in this timeline, I list the scientific research that shows the effect of Mediterranean Diet on various health problems. Then I will produce food lists, eating plans, and recipes that help you switch to healthier eating.

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Mediterranean Diet 1984-1989

Below, I list the diseases shown to be helped by a Mediterranean Diet. In summary, these are: Atherosclerosis, Cancer, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, and Mortality. Also, Mediterranean Diet is associated with healthy nutrition. Specifically, these studies include health benefits for Healthy Fats, and Vitamin E.

1984 May

Citation: Ferro-Luzzi, A., S. Mobarhan, G. Maiani, C. Scaccini, F. Virgili, and J. T. Knuiman. “Vitamin E status in Italian children subsisting on a Mediterranean diet.” Human nutrition. Clinical nutrition 38, no. 3 (1984): 195-201.
Healthy Nutrition: Vitamin E

The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a relatively low ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids. Also low polyunsaturated fatty acid content. We conclude that the Mediterranean type of diet provides a satisfactory vitamin E status.

1984 November

Citation: Ferro-Luzzi, Anna, Pasquale Strazzullo, Cristina Scaccini, Alfonso Siani, Stefania Sette, Maria Antonietta Mariani, Paolo Mastranzo, Rita M. Dougherty, James M. Iacono, and Mario Mancini. “Changing the Mediterranean diet: effects on blood lipids.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 40, no. 5 (1984): 1027-1037.
Main Disease: High Cholesterol
Healthy Nutrition: Healthy Fats

When traditional olive oil was replaced with animal fats, cholesterol increased.

1986 August

Citation: Strazzullo, Pasquale, Anna Ferro-Luzzi, Alfonso Siani, Cristina Scaccini, Stefania Sette, Giovina Catasta, and Mario Mancini. “Changing the Mediterranean diet: effects on blood pressure.” Journal of hypertension 4, no. 4 (1986): 407-412.
Main Disease: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Healthy Nutrition: Healthy Fats

When traditional Mediterranean Diet was changed to replace some polyunsaturated fats with saturated fats, blood pressure increased.

1986 November

Citation: Sirtori, Cesare R., Elena Tremoli, Ennio Gatti, Guido Montanari, Marina Sirtori, Susanna Colli, Gemma Gianfranceschi et al. “Controlled evaluation of fat intake in the Mediterranean diet: comparative activities of olive oil and corn oil on plasma lipids and platelets in high-risk patients.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 44, no. 5 (1986): 635-642.
Main Disease: Atherosclerosis
Healthy Nutrition: Healthy Fats

An olive oil diet with a moderate fat intake (about 30% of total calories) leads to favorable plasma lipoprotein and platelet changes

1987 June

Citation: Maiorano, G., V. Contursi, G. Petrelli, F. Bovenzi, M. Ricapito, E. Saracino, and N. Loiacono. “Anthropometric data, urinary electrolytes excretion, and blood pressure in adolescents.” Journal of clinical hypertension 3, no. 2 (1987): 164-172.
Main Disease: Blood Pressure

Mediterranean diet was abundant in fresh food, mainly based on carbohydrates (macaroni, bread, vegetables), rather than conserved foods in which salt plays an important role in the conservation process (butter, bacon, salad, etc.), typical of the continental diet.


Citation: Berrino, F., and P. Muti. “Mediterranean diet and cancer.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 43 (1989): 49-55.
Main Disease: Cancer
Notes: This first study of Mediterranean Diet and cancer was inconclusive. But it identifies some areas that need more research.


Citation: James, W. P., G. G. Duthie, and K. W. Wahle. “The Mediterranean diet: protective or simply non-toxic?.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 43 (1989): 31-41.
Main Disease: Mortality
Other Diseases: Heart Disease, Atherosclerosis, Cancer.

populations living in Mediterranean countries enjoy a longer life expectancy than Northern Europeans. […] Studies in the Mediterranean area highlight the considerable dietary diversity which is possible for achieving longevity.

1989 January

Citation: Murre, Cornelis, Patrick Schonleber McCaw, H. Vaessin, M. Caudy, L. Y. Jan, Y. N. Jan, Carlos V. Cabrera et al. “Interactions between heterologous helix-loop-helix proteins generate complexes that bind specifically to a common DNA sequence.” Cell 58, no. 3 (1989): 537-544.
Main Disease: High Cholesterol

cholesterol levels in the Italian men who were still mainly consuming the traditional Mediterranean diet were 30-40 mg/dL lower than in the U.S.

Delicious Mediterranean Pizza photo

What is your favorite Mediterranean food?

Your Mediterranean Diet

What does Mediterranean Diet mean to you? Do you already adopt a Mediterranean eating style? Or are you wondering how to improve your eating habits to be healthier? Please share your healthy eating questions, experiences, and opinions.

My next Mediterranean Diet timeline covers the early 90s when research into this style of eating became more widespread. So start reading Mediterranean Diet Timeline: Into the 90s now.

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