About this Research Topic
Starting with the Seven Countries Study led by physiologist Ancel Keys in the late 1950s, the Mediterranean diet (MDiet) has evolved into an internationally recognized and well-researched dietary pattern. Contemporary literature continues to support this healthy dietary model known for being environmentally friendly, anti-obesogenic, cardioprotective, and cancer-preventing/risk-reducing health effects. Moreover, the literature also points out that this diet can help improve cognitive performance and reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases among other health outcomes. The MDiet pattern is characterized by its liberal consumption of plant-based foods native to the Mediterranean basin, like fish, olive oil, and an active lifestyle earning its position in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Through the use and application of health communication, the MDiet can thus be a potential public health solution to help manage the escalating obesity crisis. Evidence-based nutrition education interventions have the potential to improve dietary habits by encouraging healthy food choices. One of the modern and feasible avenues of such interventions is the use of the internet as a widely accessible medium for delivering nutrition education. While evidence-based studies using online nutrition education interventions have significantly grown over the decades since the advent of the internet, the application of such computer-based intervention using the MDiet as the primary promoting dietary model continues to be warranted. Given the accessibility and convenience of online-based interventions, this call for submission is intended to offer readers contemporary insights in exploring factors that contribute to best practices and efficacy of applications of various online and computer-based delivery mode using the MDiet with the aim of behavior change.
The implications for both research and practice may be extended to several venues. Considering the growing childhood obesity crisis, the applications could be used in primary and secondary school settings. Additionally, with a population that is technologically savvy, college and university students could also benefit from these applications given the growing demand towards effective, evidence-based interventions offered via distance learning. The implications toward research could also potentially open the way to other public health fields and be translated into other public health disciplines such as environmental web-based education. Given that the MDiet has now been regarded as an environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly nutrient-dense dietary pattern, new health communication studies could explore ways to develop web-based environmental education designed to promote attitudes, beliefs, and habits as it relates to food sustainability, environmental health, and the growing threat of climate change.
Subsequently, this Research Topic aims to examine the use, application, and evaluation of the internet as the primary medium for nutrition education interventions that include the Mediterranean dietary pattern as either the primary intervention or as a component of a multi-behavioral intervention. This could include, but is not limited to, the following thematic areas:
• Social media and network avenues (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc.);
• Online discussion platforms;
• Blogs and/or wikis;
• Use of Apps;
• Web-based educational technology learning systems;
• Video-sharing platforms (i.e., YouTube);
• Mobile devices;
• Wearable computers;
• Text messaging.
The following article types are welcomed: Original Research; Hypothesis and Theory; Perspective; Conceptual Analysis; Brief Research Report; General Commentary; and Opinion.
Keywords: Mediterranean Diet, Internet, Computer, Intervention
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.