We are what we eat: Impact of food from short supply chain on metabolic syndrome

Gaetano Santulli, Valeria Pascale, Rosa Finelli, Valeria Visco, Rocco Giannotti, Angelo Massari, Carmine Morisco, Michele Ciccarelli, Maddalena Illario, Guido Iaccarino, Enrico Coscioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Food supply in the Mediterranean area has been recently modified by big retail distribution; for instance, industrial retail has favored shipments of groceries from regions that are intensive producers of mass food, generating a long supply chain (LSC) of food that opposes short supply chains (SSCs) that promote local food markets. However, the actual functional role of food retail and distribution in the determination of the risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MetS) has not been studied hitherto. The main aim of this study was to test the effects of food chain length on the prevalence of MetS in a population accustomed to the Mediterranean diet. We conducted an observational study in Southern Italy on individuals adhering to the Mediterranean diet. We examined a total of 407 subjects (41% females) with an average age of 56 ± 14.5 years (as standard deviation) and found that being on the Mediterranean diet with a SSC significantly reduces the prevalence of MetS compared with the LSC (SSC: 19.65%, LSC: 31.46%; p: 0.007). Our data indicate for the first time that the length of food supply chain plays a key role in determining the risk of MetS in a population adhering to the Mediterranean diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2061
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Food retail
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Supply chain of food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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