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Most of the foods that are advertised as "Mediterranean" are actually not

A study carried out by UPF and UOC researchers shows that most of the products advertised as part of the Mediterranean diet have a low nutritional value

Imatge inicial

The Mediterranean Diet has been recognized as a dietary pattern that has multiple benefits for health and it was also recognized by UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Aware of those benefits, advertising uses the Mediterranean diet as a claim to reach consumers but, are those products healthy?


Dr Mònika Jiménez-Morales (UPF) and Dr Mireia Montaña-Blasco (UOC) analyzed more than 1,000 food and beverage advertisements corresponding to advertising broadcast in different types of media in Spain (newspapers, magazines, television, radio, internet, etc.) between 2011 and 2020.


The main findings concluded that most of the food products and drinks advertised under the concept “Mediterranean” are not included in the nutritional pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet. 


The results also indicated that although some of the ingredients of the products advertised under the term “Mediterranean” are part of the nutritional pyramid of the Mediterranean diet, the product itself, clearly differs from the nutritional parameters of the diet, since it is mostly processed or ultra-processed. 


The researchers note that in food marketing, certain forms of discourse can have negative consequences on the health of individuals. In this sense, the inclusion of the “Mediterranean” concept in most of the advertisements analyzed can mislead consumers and affect their buying decisions.




Jiménez-Morales, M.; Montaña Blasco, M. (2021). "Presence and strategic use of the Mediterranean Diet in food marketing: Analysis and association of nutritional values and advertising claims from 2011 to 2020". NFS Journal.




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