Junk food...Italy?

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Italy, long seen as the healthy man of Europe, is beginning to suffer the effects of fast- and junk-food, the Guardian reports.

The Italian Government has revealed plans to subsidise fruit in schools and offices after new research showed that deaths related to alcohol, smoking and processed food have soared.

Livia Turco, Italy’s health minister, said that smoking, alcoholism, bad diet and increasingly sedentary lifestyles were becoming ‘general tendencies’. She added:
“It’s a paradox that the country of the Mediterranean diet needs to introduce nutritional guidance because of advertising, consumerism and the hurry people are in.”

The Health Ministry’s new action plan includes reducing the price of fresh vegetables and making fruit available from school vending machines.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist February 2007