The Hospital Infanta Elena, in the Spanish town of Valdemoro, south of Madrid, has launched a groundbreaking initiative that they hope will result in healthier members of the population, thus reducing the need for healthcare and the services of the hospital.

The aim is to convince the members of the community to ditch unhealthy, fast-food, by offering classes on how to prepare and cook wholesome natural ingredients, thus converting the population back to the traditional Mediterranean diet.

The “school for food” is running through to April, targeting all ages and genders, from pregnancy, through birth, adolescence and through adulthood into the mature years, with a prominence on milk, fruit and vegetables in the early years, combining exercise during adult life, all with the aim of a prolonged ad healthier lifestyle, avoiding some of the more common conditions affecting people today, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis.

As part of the campaign, workshops show how to prepare the food and weekly menu plans are provided, designed to ensure a correct balance of nutrition, including vegetable only days, three pieces of fruit per day, and encouraging health.

Solutions to the fast pace of life are also included in the workshops, with freezing food offered as a good solution to the lack of time, provided it is performed correctly, these sessions including tips on fast freezing certain items, as well as avoiding freezing things like potatoes, which oxidize and lose its properties in this process.

Social reasons such as lack of time and the cult of fast food have made the dietary habits of the Spanish population worse in recent years, according to Doctor González-Valcárcel who leads the project; this deterioration in the diet has created “an excessive intake of protein and fat in addition to carbohydrates”, the consequences are becoming apparent around us in the increased prevalence of childhood obesity and cholesterol and diabetes among adults.

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