Chile is currently experiencing a progressive epidemiological transition towards chronic diseases. In this country, >50% of annual deaths are attributed to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Moreover, health surveys have shown high prevalence of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cardiovascular disease risk. In addition, mental health issues are also frequent among Chilean adults. On the other hand, the agri-food system contributes to 21–37% of greenhouse gases emissions worldwide. Overall, current health and food chain situation calls out for design and implementation of evidence-based feasible and effective nutritional interventions needed to promote physical and mental health along with addressing food sustainability in Chile. Nowadays, the Mediterranean diet is recognized as one of the healthiest dietary patterns based on observational and interventional studies linked to a wide variety of health outcomes. However, a Mediterranean lifestyle goes well beyond food intake: it includes promotion of psychosocial resources, community life as well as cultural traditions. Indeed, Mediterranean lifestyle is a true modus vivendi that integrally promotes physical, mental, and social well-being. In addition, the Mediterranean diet stands out for its environmental sustainability because it is characterized mainly as a plant-based dietary pattern with low carbon and water footprints. Remarkably, Central Chile has a Mediterranean-like setting with plant and animal food production and availability patterns comparable to those present in countries located around the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, this article reviews how promotion of Mediterranean lifestyle adherence in Chile offers great potential for management of the ongoing epidemiological transition to chronic diseases as well to promote psychological well-being within a unique food system and dietary sustainability vision for this Latin American country.
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