Program Highlights

Scientific Program (final program subject to change)

Monday, October 16, 2017

7:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast and free time

10:00 am – 10:15 am Welcome from the Course Directors - Stefanos Kales (Associate Prof. Harvard Medical School & Harvard Chan School of Public Health), George Stamou (Producer & Director, the Cooking Odyssey)

10:15 am – 10:40 am History and Sources of the Mediterranean Diet- George Stamou. A Multimedia presentation of the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Mediterranean as presented through clips from the award-winning PBS TV show the Cooking Odyssey.

10:40 am - 11:00 am Coffee Break

11:00 am - 11:30 am Diabesity and Contemporary Nutrition Dr. Stefanos Kales Introduction and Challenges of the Mediterranean Diet. Trends in obesity and diabetes and relationship to the nutritional status quo; “Back to the Future” with Greek Diet, Workplaces and Schools as possible vehicles for Change.)

11:30 pm – 12:45 pm Keynote: Epidemiology of the Mediterranean Diet—Walter C. Willett, MD (Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
• Summary of major epidemiologic evidence of the last decades demonstrating that Mediterranean Diet patterns are the “Rolls Royce” of healthy eating and associated with better health status, greater longevity, and positive effects on chronic diseases.
• Translation to Sebastian’s Café at Harvard - application of nutritional guidelines, recipes, and other resources for creating and promoting healthy, delicious foods. For example, the “Heart of the Plate” program features daily choices of lean proteins, interesting vegetables/legumes and whole grain dishes for a balanced healthy meal.)

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch – Greek Plants and Herbs: their Role in the Mediterranean Diet and as Natural Remedies-Eleni Maloupa (Curator of Balkan Botanic Garden, Kroussia, Greece) Overview of the wealth of herbs and medicinal plants in Greece, their role in the traditional diet and potential as nutraceuticals.

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm OPTIONS:
• Excursion: Visit to Golden Tree (Olive Groves, Olive Factory and Olive Oil Mill) The visit will include: the opportunity to harvest olives from a grove; learn how olives are prepared for eating and a tasting of various olives; a visit to a local olive press and a chance to taste the fresh olive juice or oil.
• Free Time on your own.

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm VIP Event

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

7:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast and free time

9:00 am – 10:00 am Fundamental Components of the Mediterranean Diet—Eric Rimm, MD (Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) Biochemical-nutritional bases for the benefits of essential Mediterranean foods: olive oil, nuts, legumes, fresh fruits/vegetables, wine, Greek yogurt, etc.

10:00 – 11:00 am Intervention Studies on the Mediterranean Diet - Mercedes Sotos Prieto (Assistant Prof. of Nutrition, Ohio University & Visiting Scientist, Harvard Chan School of Public Health) Summary of dietary intervention studies providing further scientific support for the health benefits of Mediterranean Diet.

11:00 am – 11:30 am Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:00 pm Olive Oil as Medicine - Prokopis Magiatis (Assoc. Prof Pharmaceutics, Univ. Of Athens, Northeastern Univ) How does olive oil and its natural phytochemicals work as a “nutraceutical” in our body as an anti-inflammatory and promoter of vascular health.

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm Extra Virgin Olive Oil: what do I buy for my family? - Dr. Eleni Melliou (Laboratory Teaching Personnel) There are so many varieties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the market shelves, but they are not all equal. How science can guide the consumer looking for the healthiest oil.

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm Goat and Sheep Milk and Greek Yogurt - Dimitrios Kouretas (Professor, University of Thessaly) What is different about Greek dairy products? A summary of studies examining various types of milk products.

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Lunch

2:30 pm – 6:00 pm OPTIONS:
• Excursion: City Tour of Thessaloniki
• Free time

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Wine-Tasting Dinner Symposium.
Wine: a Culture of Moderation: the history, culture, role in MedDiet and current state of Greek wines.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

7:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast and free time

9:00 am – 9:30 am A Randomized Cluster Trial of Mediterranean Diet in the US Fire Service - Stefanos N. Kales (Assoc. Professor of Medicine, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Assoc. Prof. Harvard Medical School). Background and description of a US federally-funded study to bring Mediterranean Diet to US firefighters struggling with obesity and sudden cardiac death as the number one on-duty killer.

9:30 am – 10:00 am sì.mediterraneo! Barilla Mediterranean Lifestyle Program. Valeria Rapetti (Nutrition Senior Manager). Description and success of Barilla’s ground-breaking program to bring the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle to its worldwide employees.

10:00 am – 10:30 am Running a Healthy Food Service: Menus of Change—Ken Toong (Director of the dining Service at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) Award-winning UMass Dining is the largest self-operated collegiate dining program in the nation, serving 45,000 meals/day. Creative approaches applying Mediterranean and other healthy eating principles have decreased soda consumption; increased consumption of fruits/vegetables and fish; and produced other beneficial changes.

10:30 am – 11:00 am Coffee Break

11:00 am – 11:30 am Doctor, Heal thy Self: Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Healthcare Providers’ Health Status Nicholas H.E. Mezitis (Director UMA Diabetes Endocrine Care Center & Clinical Assoc. Prof of Specialty Medicine, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine) Report on the results of a survey of “Self-reported Consumption and Impact of the Mediterranean Diet” among practicing healthcare providers.

11:30 am – 12:00 am The Mediterranean Diet: a key for Increasing the Greek Agrofood Sector - Mr. Kyriakos Loufakis, President of The Greek International Business Association.

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch and free time

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm Excursion: Visit to Tsantali Winery

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Macedonian Greek Cuisine Dinner: Local and Regional Cuisine of Macedonia Folklore Dance Group.
Agro Presentation – Mr. Theofanis Papas, Vice-Governor for Agriculture, Region of Central Macedonia.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

7:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast and free time

9:00 am – 10:00 am Young Investigator Oral Presentations, Q&A
Top 5 abstracts selected for an oral presentation:
Dr. Eleni Christoforidou -Aristotle University of Thessaloniki:
Food Insecurity and Mediterranean diet adherence among university students
Dr. Sara Hurtado Barroso-University of Barcelona:
Effect of sofrito intake on diastolic blood pressure in healthy men after high and low antioxidants diet
Dr. Anna Tresserra-University of Barcelona:
Lignans and chronic diseases: results from the PREDIMED Trial
Dr. David Rainey-Harvard School of Public Health: Volunteer firefighters:
Open online Mediterranean Diet Intervention: baseline population characteristics and diet scores
Dr. Alessandra Lafranconi- Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca:
Physical activity as part of the Mediterranean style: cost-effectiveness evaluations in four European countries

10:00 am – 11:00 am Updates from PREDIMED and PREDIMED PLUS - Ramon Estruch (Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic (Barcelona) and Professor, Univ. of Barcelona, President, Steering Cte of PREDIMED PLUS). Background, current status and updates from the groundbreaking Spanish Clinical Trials of Mediterranean Diet as Primary Prevention.

11:00 am – 11:30 am Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:00 pm Polyphenols - Rosa Maria Lamuela (Director, Polyphenol Research Group and Assoc. Prof. Nutrition, Food Science & Gastronomy, Univ. of Barcelona). Sources, bioavailability and human health effects of these important natural anti-oxidant, phytochemicals.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ROUNDTABLE - MedDiet: Past, Present and Future. Prof. Trichopoulou, Prof. Estruch and Prof. Willett.

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch – Young Investigator Awards will be presented during lunch.

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm OPTIONS:
• Excursion: Visit to Kalantaridis Dairy Products
• Free Time

Dinner on your own: Explore one of Sani’s many restaurants!

Friday, October 20, 2017

7:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast and free time

9:00 am – 1:00 pm OPTIONS:
• City Tour Thessaloniki
• Free Time or other local excursions arranged through SANI Resort

9:00 am - 6:00 pm OPTION:
• Excursion to Verginia, first Capital of Ancient Macedonia, Burial Site of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great:

- 9:00 am - 11:30 am: Duration of the trip from Sani Resort to the School of Aristotle in Naousa
(This is the school where Aristotle was training Alexander the Great)
- 11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Visit-Tour at the School of Aristotle
- 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Visit-Tour and snacks “"the winegrower's meal" (with tradidtional greek pies etc)
at the Winery "Κτήμα Κυρ-Γιάννη"
- 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm: Duration of the trip from the Winery "Κτήμα Κυρ-Γιάννη"to Vergina.
- 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm: Visit-Tour at the Museum of Vergina
- 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm : Duration of the trip –return from Vergina to Sani Resort.

8:00 pm – 10 pm Farewell Dinner Party with Faculty & Sponsors
Presentation of a “Slideshow Recap” of the conference.

Please ask for available sponsorship opportunities.