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Spanish Spotlight: Sam Nelson and his students explore the Mediterranean diet

Obesity rates these days are a cause for concern the world over, and the trend is one that only looks to get worse in the years to come. As the serving sizes of high calorie foods have increased dramatically, so have the rates of diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure in those who indulge too frequently.

Due to the ample amounts of fresh fish, leafy vegetables, and olive oil that adherents to the Mediterranean diet consume, they’ve largely been able to buck the obesity trend and maintain their heart health and svelte figures. And since we arrived in Greece, our students and faculty have been more than happy to indulge in an abundance of delicious Mediterranean dishes, and even participate in a Mediterranean cooking class.

Taking it a step further, Spanish teacher Sam Nelson decided it would be a good project for his grade 9 and 10 students to research the Mediterranean diet and present their findings in Spanish.

Sam asked his students, all of whom are first year Spanish speakers, to break into groups of two and present their findings on the following items in a Spanish-language video:

  1. What is the Mediterranean diet? Does it differ much depending on the country?
  2. Is the Mediterranean diet realistic, given that junk food is so cheap?
  3. What do Greek people eat? Is it a healthy diet?
  4. What characteristics does a healthy diet have?

After performing preliminary research, each group of students took turns interviewing locals about the Mediterranean diet during a Spanish-language food tour through Athens. All of the groups did an excellent job on their project, and one group, consisting of tenth graders Ayesha and Samaya, went above and beyond, providing an English translation to accompany their video. You can watch it below:

 

So what are your thoughts on the Mediterranean diet? Do you think it is the best diet for leading a nutritious lifestyle, or is there another diet that you prefer? Let Sam and his students know in the comments!

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