The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the eating patterns of places like Greece, Southern Italy and Spain. It involves high use of olive oil, legumes, cereals, fruits, nuts and vegetables and moderate use of fish, dairy items like cheddar and yogurt, and wine.
A lot had been talked about the benefits of following a Mediterranean diet. Previous studies show how it can protect against diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer. A new study claims that children taking a Mediterranean diet are about 15 percent less likely to be overweight than those kids who don't. (More: What makes a Mediterranean diet healthy?)
To reach this conclusion, researchers examined the weight, stature, waist circuit and percent muscle to fat ratio in youngsters from eight nations - Sweden, Germany, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Belgium, Estonia and Hungary.
Gianluca Tognon from University of Gothenburg, Sweden, explains, "The adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet was assessed by a score calculating by giving one point for high intakes of each food group which was considered typical of the Mediterranean diet such as vegetables, fruit and nuts, fish and cereal grains. One point was given for low intakes of foods untypical of the Mediterranean diet such as dairy and meat products."
High scoring children were then viewed as high-follower and compared with the others. The findings were independent of age, sex, socio-economic status or country of residence.
"Considering its potential beneficial effects on obesity prevention, this dietary pattern should be part of EU obesity prevention strategies," Tognon added.