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"The chief explanation for Spain’s pronounced improvement is the country’s Mediterranean diet" -- this is scientific nonsense unless the country has only just adopted a Mediterranean diet.

Considering that Spain spent most of the twentieth century at war of under a dictatorship, it isn’t nonsense.

Yes it is. The claim made is that the change in life expectancy is due to the diet. But it's well known that "you can't explain a variable with a constant". If the diet has not changed, it cannot explain a change in life expectancy.

You are suggesting that the change in life expectancy is due to a period of living without wars and dictatorships. Whether this is right or not it is certainly a much more sensible explanation, but it has nothing to do with diet.

I was also going to point out that it seems kind of bunk. Especially the present tense "is the country’s Mediterranean diet." They are projecting changes in 2040 for goodness sake. It should more like we are guessing the Spanish will live longer in 2040 because diet. Which as you say is much the same as what they eat now.

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