In southern European countries, the "Mediterranean Diet" is widespread and lauded as a healthy way to eat. It includes very little red meat, lots of veggies, lean fish and plant-based food. It's been cited as one of the best ways to manage weight, stay in shape, and even hold off heart disease and dementia. However, children in countries like Italy, Spain and Greece don't seem to be keeping up with it. The World Health Organization says that children in those countries have high rates of obesity.
The good fats in olive oil, lean protein in fish and lots of beans are being replaced in the diets of children with candy, junk food, and sugary beverages. According to data collected by the WHO, children who live in Sweden, which is nowhere near the Mediterranean Sea, are more likely to have a diet rich in healthy fats and legumes than the children in the geographical area that made the diet famous.