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Exploring Relationships between Biodiversity and Dietary Diversity in the Mediterranean Region: Preliminary Insights from a Literature Review

  • El Bilali H
  • O’Kane G
  • Capone R
  • et al.
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See, stats, and : https :/ / www. researchgate . net / publication / 315800821 Exploring and Region : Preliminary . . . Article DOI : 10 . 12691 / ajfn - 5 - 1 - 1 CITATIONS 0 READS 121 5 , including : Some : Sustainable The Hamid University 204 SEE Gabrielle ' Kane University 15 SEE Roberto International 75 SEE Elliot Hebrew 276 , 774 SEE All . The . Abstract Achieving sustainable food and nutrition security is dependent on enhancing dietary diversity to address micronutrient deficiency . Biodiversity , which includes diversity within and between species and of ecosystems , is crucial for dietary diversity , a qualitative measure of food variety available for individual and household consumption and a proxy for nutritional adequacy . This paper explores the poorly understood relationships between biodiversity (including agro - biodiversity) and dietary diversity in the Mediterranean area . It is based on an extensive yet targeted literature review carried out using Google search engine to capture important scholarly and grey literature mainly in the periods February - June 2015 and January - April 2016 . FAO food supply data from 21 Mediterranean countries show that in the period between 1990 - 92 and 2007 - 2009 , dietary diversity increased in most countries through a reduction in the contribution of starchy , staple foods to total energy and an increase in consumption of protein from animal origin . Meanwhile , reviewed literature shows that there was over the last decades a general decline of biodiversity and agricultural biodiversity in the Mediterranean region . These contradictory trends affecting Mediterranean dietary patterns may reflect rising affluence and trade liberalisation . The paper also highlights that the dietary polymorphism that has existed in the Mediterranean for millennia , which reflects biological and cultural diversity , is under threat with the erosion of food culture and biodiversity - related knowledge . Further studies , using dietary surveys rather than apparent consumption food supply data and valid dietary diversity scoring methods , are needed to enable a more accurate and evidence - based monitoring of dietary diversity in different Mediterranean countries . Nevertheless , safeguarding and promoting the Mediterranean diet and its inherent diversity is vital for conserving the extraordinary cultural , biological and dietary diversity in the region . Insights provided by the present paper should be taken into consideration in formulating effective policies to deal simultaneously with malnutrition (especially micronutrient deficiencies) and biodiversity loss in the Mediterranean area .




El Bilali, H., O’Kane, G., Capone, R., Berry, E. M., & Dernini, S. (2017). Exploring Relationships between Biodiversity and Dietary Diversity in the Mediterranean Region: Preliminary Insights from a Literature Review. American Journal of Food and Nutrition, 5(1), 1–9.

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