Home » today » Technology » Antonia Trihopoulou, the “mother” of the Mediterranean diet – 2024-03-01 14:39:57

Antonia Trihopoulou, the “mother” of the Mediterranean diet – 2024-03-01 14:39:57

“THE Antonia Trihopoulou has been distinguished for her significant contribution to the scientific field of Medicine and has developed an enviable research, teaching and writing project which focuses on the epidemiology of chronic diseases, the promotion of public health, and the prevention of diseases. She has received international recognition for her scientific activity, with which she highlighted, among other things, the importance of the traditional Mediterranean diet».

With these words the President of the Academy of Athens, Mr. Stamatios Krimizisaddressed Antonia Trichopoulou, Professor Emeritus of the School of Medicine of the University of Athens and Chair Professor of Yale University, as a regular member of the Academy of Athens in the field “Medical Sciences, Epidemiology, Public Health.

Antonia Trihopoulou is a model Greek scientist

“Antonia Trihopoulou left a unique mark on science. She was a role model for a Greek scientist who carried out her world-renowned research exclusively in Greece. Her research results strengthened the tourism industry of our country. Through her research, with the sign of the Greek Mediterranean diet, she radiated the quality of Greek ingenuity to the ends of our planet for the good of our fellow human beings.

Her research work focuses on the epidemiology of chronic diseases and the development of pioneering health databases that have enabled and supported scientific research on health promotion and disease prevention,” he added. the academic Mr. Charalambos Roussos at the start of the welcoming session of this great scientist who has dedicated her life to the research of the Mediterranean diet.

It is not by chance that she has been given the nickname “mother of the Mediterranean diet”.

From the Medical School of Athens to the ends of the earth

He was born in Athens in 1938 and grew up in a family that loved letters. For her, the path of studies was a self-evident and, of course, irreversible course, so that she would succeed in being socially as well as financially self-sufficient.

In 1961 she graduated from the School of Medicine of the University of Athens, in 1963 she completed her studies at the School of Hygiene of Athens and in 1965 she completed her specialization in biopathology (microbiology) and received her doctorate in Medicine from the University of Athens. In 1976, she became a professor of Medicine at the University of Athens, in the field of biochemistry. She was appointed Professor of Nutrition and Biochemistry at the Athens School of Public Health in 1977 and served as Dean of the School from 1985 to 1987.

In 1994, she was awarded the title of Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. During her career at the School of Public Health in Athens (1990 – 1999) and then at the Laboratory of Hygiene and Epidemiology of the University of Athens (2000 – 2019), she was also the head of the Collaborating Center for Nutrition of the World Health Organization.

In 2006, she was a founding member of the non-profit Hellenic Health Foundation, of which she has been President since 2014. Her research work focuses on nutrition and in particular on the Mediterranean diet model.

The great Antonia Trihopoulou developed the first standardized evaluation system for adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet, the ”Mediterranean Diet Score” (MDS). The MDS and its variants have been used in hundreds of studies to assess the effect of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on health around the world.

He has been a mentor to dozens of doctors and health workers, many of whom excel today in Greece and abroad. In 2014 he was included in the Thomson Reuters list of researchers with the most references to their scientific work and in 2018 for the same reason he is listed in the Clarivate Analytics list. For 2021 he is listed in Webometrics’ Clarivate Analytics ‘Highly Cited Researchers (h>100)’ list of researchers who have the most significant scientific influence worldwide.

Antonia Trihopoulou has put her stamp on the Mediterranean diet

Antonia Trihopoulou, despite the modesty that has distinguished her over the years, is a scientist whose work has a global reach. “She has put her stamp on the Mediterranean diet. It is a leading scientific form.

He conceived, captured and demonstrated on the world stage the term Mediterranean diet in relation to health benefits. Thousands of researchers around the world have based, and are basing, their work on her own primary conception. She brought to light and established in the world consciousness the benefits of the traditional Greek Mediterranean diet.

Her pioneering work changed the positive view of Greece as the cradle and historical model of healthy eating habitsoffering countless scientific tangible and symbolic goods to our country.

Without a doubt, Ms. Trichopoulou belongs to the group of pioneers who contributed, with stubbornness and passion, to the upliftment of the modern medical operation from our country, for our country and beyond,” said Mr. Roussos during the event and a few minutes before Antonia Trihopoulou takes the stage to deliver her speech on “From the Mediterranean to the Planetary Diet: Health, Food Systems, Environment”.

Antonia Trihopoulou: “The Mediterranean diet certifies longevity”

“If the standard healthy diet, which is close to the Mediterranean diet, were applied worldwide, 11 million premature deaths could be prevented and premature mortality reduced by 19%.

Rarely in epidemiology is there such strong evidence for the beneficial effect of a dietary regimen as the Mediterranean diet has proven to be a diet that certifies longevity and health-related quality of life.

The Mediterranean diet is a way of life, it is not just a list of foods,” said Antonia Trichopoulou, clarifying that the Mediterranean diet is the dietary regimen used before 1960 by the inhabitants of Mediterranean countries where the olive tree grows.

Authoritative scientific papers confirm that this nutrition favors longevity and helps prevent many chronic diseases. The Mediterranean diet is linked not only to health and the environment but also to culture and economy, offering healthy and sustainable practical strategies at all levels of public health.

“Food systems are one of the main drivers of climate change and environmental degradation. It is important that those scientific bridges have been developed that connect nutrition and food with health and the environment,” added Ms. Trichopoulou and went on to explain that the Mediterranean diet is environmentally friendly and ecologically sustainable because it is characterized by a low environmental burden.

“It is estimated that food chain activity is responsible (directly or indirectly) for about ⅓ of the anthropogenic origin of the climate crisis. More than half of this is linked to animal production. Emissions from food production are responsible for about ⅓ of global warming.

It is clear that healthy eating and sustainable food production define the framework of a sustainable food system and environmental protection. Consequently they can contribute to the realization of the goals of the United Nations and the Paris Agreement.

It is the first time the annual United Nations gathering has recognized that what people grow and eat are key factors in global warming. Each of us is responsible for our choices.”

Necessary investigation, recording and daily continuation of our nutritional tradition

During the 28 minutes she was on stage, Antonia Trichopoulou repeated many times that the Mediterranean diet is a way of life and that there are no magic foods or magic nutrients. Her words are in complete agreement with her own life course. So here too there are no magic ingredients but only passion, dedication, determination, authenticity and ethics.

Antonia Trichopoulou concluded: “30 years ago and to this day, in response to what was seen as a debt, I tried to explore the Mediterranean diet and the importance of the traditional foods that express it. My interest in this came from various stimuli.

Scientifically: since the Mediterranean diet uses abundant foods with a wonderful and desirable health-beneficial composition. Cultural: because many ways of preparing them have ancient roots inextricably linked to religious traditions. Culinary: since the products of our land with a suitable combination produce wonderful dishes.

The traditional Greek diet, a model of the Mediterranean diet, played an important role in addressing vital nutritional problems that often threatened the Greek population.

In an era characterized by the slow but steady disappearance of age-old traditions of our country, it is necessary to investigate, record and daily continue our food tradition.

I hope that today’s speech will be the trigger to get closer to one of the veins of the underground current of Hellenism that still flows under a disoriented Greek society”.

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