There are a lot of studies...I saw 2000-2012 at the bottom, and the Russian numbers were surprising. http://www.annecollins.com/obesity/w...de-obesity.htm
That was contradicted in some older studies, but supported by newer ones.
One thing was definite.....Italy has good food, and it must be healthier than most other countries. The quotes I have seen from Maria usually praise the traditional fare of the country. She goes for quality, and enthusiasm about that is better than just eating the ordinary American style fast food without thinking much about it.