Milan celebrates Mediterranean diet

6-10 June. With free health-checks by nutritionists.

The week from 6 to 10 June will see Italy celebrating the world-famous Mediterranean diet, and professional nutritionists across Milan will offer free health checks and advice on healthy eating.

Organised by the National Order of Biologists, the initiative – called Mangiare&Salute – intends to promote a message of awareness of the importance of a correct lifestyle and an adequate nutrition using locally available foods.

The Mediterranean diet was the subject of intensive research in the 1940s and 1950s. It recommends high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruit and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate use of dairy products and wine, and cutting back on non-fish meat and meat products.

A seminal paper in the British Medical Journal in 2008 reported an estimated reduction of fatal risk of 9 per cent, while a 2016 report in the American Journal of Medicine confirmed the diet’s value in weight loss. Other research has lauded the Mediterranean diet for its role in combating cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer.

“More than just a diet,” said Order of Biologists president Ermanno Calcatelli, “we want to promote a Mediterranean lifestyle, an elixir for long life ... declared a UNESCO patrimony in 2010.”

Over 1,100 professional nutritionists in cities, towns and villages across the country, including around a hundred in Milan province, are adhering to the initiative and offering free consultations.

The Mangiare&Salute website offers a search engine for finding the closest professional taking part, with address and office hours, and phone numbers for booking a free visit.

Meanwhile, in Milan’s Municipio 3 (Lambrate, Città Studi and Porta Venezia), the non-profit NGO ADomicilio Onlus is offering free specialist visits for the over-65s, who can book a check-up with dermatologists, cardiologists, urologists, orthopaedicians, oculists, pneumologists, endocrinologists and cardiovascular surgeons.

Senior citizens wishing to take advantage of the offer need to book on the free phone number 800 134 700. ADomicilio Onlus hopes to extend the experiment to other Milan boroughs in the near future.