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Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 11 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1344

Wider analysis required

I am not satisfied that the studies reviewed are sufficiently wide
ranging to draw meaningful conclusions. In addition, the reviewed studies
are far too parochial.

For example:

1 Have causes of death for the indigenous people in each of the
countries surrounding the Mediterranean been evaluated to determine ( as a
percentage of the population ) how they materially differ, if at all, from
other European countries ?

2 Is their any significant difference between causes of mortality in
Mediterranean countries than those in Scandinavia ?

3 With regard to both of the above what differnces are there of
significance, if any, in longevity of live in the respective countries ?
Similarly, is there any material difference in the repective country's
morbidity ?

4 None of the studies appear to compare the Mediterranean countries
with other "mature" economies around the globe. Why, for example, does
Japan ( the second largest economy in the world ) have longevity of life
far greater than in the Mediterranean countries? In addition, analysis of
the reason for longevity of life being far greater for residents of the
southern Japanese island of Okinawa being greater than for the rest of
Japan would be a useful piece of research.

In summary, the studies evaluated are not in any way sufficiently
widespread as to draw valid and meaningful conclusions.

Best wishes.

Colin Williams

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 September 2008
Colin J N Williams
Retired Chartered Accountant
BS14 9EA