If you’re trying to stave off the “Freshman 15,” you may want to eat more Mediterranean food. Students at the University of Missouri researched the health benefits of such a diet when they studied abroad in France, Greece or Italy.
Studies show that a Mediterranean diet, rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, dairy, fish, nuts and legumes, is linked to living a long, healthy life.
While abroad, students are required to prepare their own meals with food purchased in local markets. Topics studied include sustainable farming and and how to prepare a healthier meal.
“Learning about the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is important because it emphasizes getting back to basics,” said Ann Cohen, who heads the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle study abroad program in Italy.
Students not only learn how to eat a Mediterranean diet, they learn how to live an active lifestyle as well.
“In Italy, everything is within walking distance, so students have many opportunities to be active,” Cohen said. “Many students make goals to maintain active lifestyles once they return to the U.S. and share their experiences with others.”
They use pedometers while they’re abroad, and compare steps taken when they are in the U.S. Students quickly notice that they walk a significant amount more abroad than at home.
The Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle is a unique program, and I personally think that MU is taking the initiative to battle the obesity epidemic. At a time when college students are greatly affected by weight gain, a program such as this will not only set a new standard for eating but for living as well. Other universities ought to take pointers from MU as emerging research of obesity becomes more important to the future health of the U.S.
Via MU News
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