‘Global Nutrition Dynamics: The World is Shifting Rapidly Toward a Diet Linked with Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)’

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 09/2006; 84(2):289-98.
Source: PubMed


Global energy imbalances and related obesity levels are rapidly increasing. The world is rapidly shifting from a dietary period in which the higher-income countries are dominated by patterns of degenerative diseases (whereas the lower- and middle-income countries are dominated by receding famine) to one in which the world is increasingly being dominated by degenerative diseases. This article documents the high levels of overweight and obesity found across higher- and lower-income countries and the global shift of this burden toward the poor and toward urban and rural populations. Dietary changes appear to be shifting universally toward a diet dominated by higher intakes of animal and partially hydrogenated fats and lower intakes of fiber. Activity patterns at work, at leisure, during travel, and in the home are equally shifting rapidly toward reduced energy expenditure. Large-scale decreases in food prices (eg, beef prices) have increased access to supermarkets, and the urbanization of both urban and rural areas is a key underlying factor. Limited documentation of the extent of the increased effects of the fast food and bottled soft drink industries on this nutrition shift is available, but some examples of the heterogeneity of the underlying changes are presented. The challenge to global health is clear.

Download full-text


Available from: Barry M Popkin, Jan 27, 2015
86 Reads
    • "Nevertheless we have shown elsewhere that the BMI distribution for Chinese of all ages has shifted markedly higher and few children or adults have a low BMI. There are some instances of underweight among adults over seventy-five years old (Dearth-Wesley et al., 2008; Gordon-Larsen et al., 2014; Ji and Cheng, 2008; Popkin, 2006). The market for processed foods is rising rapidly throughout LMICs. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The processed food sector in low- and middle-income countries has grown rapidly. Little is understood about its effect on obesity. Using data from 14,976 participants aged two and older in the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey, this paper examines patterns of processed food consumption and their impacts on obesity while considering the endogeneity of those who purchase processed foods. A major assumption of our analysis of the impact of processed foods on overweight and obesity was that the consumption of processed foods is endogenous due to their accessibility and urbanicity levels. The results show that 74.5% of participants consumed processed foods, excluding edible oils and other condiments; 28.5% of participants' total daily energy intake (EI) was from processed foods. Children and teenagers in megacities had the highest proportion of EI (40.2%) from processed foods. People who lived in megacities or highly urbanized neighborhoods with higher incomes and educational achievement consumed more processed foods. When controlling for endogeneity, only the body mass index (BMI) and risk of being overweight of children ages two to eighteen are adversely associated with processed foods (+4.97 BMI units, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.66-8.28; odds ratio (OR) = 3.63, 95% CI: 1.45-9.13). Processed food purchases represent less than a third of current Chinese food purchases. However, processed food purchases are growing at the rate of 50% per year, and we must begin to understand the implications for the future.
    Food Policy 08/2015; 55:92-100. DOI:10.1016/j.foodpol.2015.07.001 · 1.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "However, globalization, urbanisation and the expansion of market economies in the last decades are transforming dietary patterns throughout the world by replacing locally produced/harvested food with industrial and processed products (Popkin 2006; Popkin and Gordon-Larsen 2004). These changes in diet and activity patterns are commonly referred to as the " nutrition transition " (Popkin 2006). In tropical forest areas in general, the nutrition transition is characterised by a shift away from traditional foods (such as coarse grains, starchy roots and wild source of meat) toward staples (such as rice and wheat, increased fat, including animal fat from domestic and industrial sources of meat, and refined sugar consumption) (Drewnowski and Popkin 1997). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current contribution of wild animal proteins has been poorly quantified, particularly in the rapidly growing urban centers of tropical forests. Lack of such evidence impairs food security strategies to include the diversity of food supply inherent to traditional food systems. In this study we focus on wild sources of animal protein: wild fish and bushmeat, which have traditionally been important in people’s diets in the Amazon. We compare the consumption of wild and non-wild (domestic, processed) sources of animal proteins in a rural to urban gradient in the Colombian Amazon. In rural areas, most people are indigenous from the Ticuna ethnical group, while in urban areas, the population is a result of a mixture of different indigenous groups, mestizos and colonos. Our results show that, despite its geographical position, the region is increasingly dependent on domestic and industrialized sources of animal protein. The frequency of wild fish and bushmeat consumption decreases from rural to urban areas to the advantage of domestic and processed meat/fish. Patterns of animal protein consumption for indigenous children indicate that indigenous families adopt non-indigenous consumption patterns when they move to town. Bushmeat consumption in urban areas is more frequent in wealthier families and could be considered as a luxury product. In urban areas, chicken is the protein of the poor and beef replaces chicken for the families that can afford it. In rural settings, chicken replaces wild sources of animal protein as people increase their income and move away from forest/agriculture dependent livelihoods. Despite, the low importance of bushmeat and wild fish in urban areas measured in terms of consumption frequencies, we show that these foods continue to play an important role in terms of dietary diversity, which is fundamental to eradicate energy and micronutrient deficiencies. The increased consumption of industrial chicken in rural communities poses important food security issues because it provides less nutritional balance than wild foods and access to this protein is dependent on the availability of cash in rural communities. While the harvest of wild proteins poses a sustainability problem, industrial foods also carry a heavy ecological footprint. In conclusion our results call for a better attention to the changes observed in diets in the Amazon, given their potential food security and ecological consequences.
  • Source
    • "The effects of globalization on the incorporation of new foods into people's diets, loss of cultural identity, standardization of foods consumed and devaluation of traditional agricultural knowledge have been discussed (Garcia, 2003; Paulain, 2004; Popkin, 2006). On the other hand, interest has increased in foods that value food culture, traditions and habits (Kuznesof et al., 1997; Libery and Kneafsey, 1998; Paulain, 2004; Pesteil, 2006; Wahlqvist and Lee, 2007; Vanhonacker et al., 2010) due to factors such as changes in the population's food and nutrition profile (Monteiro et al., 2010; Popkin et al., 2012; Popkin and Slining, 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify regional foods and analyze its use on school menus of a Brazilian city, as well as the respect to symbolic and cultural aspects related to it. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, regional foods were identified through interviews with key school meal and city agents. In the second stage, the inclusion of these foods in school menus from 2009 to 2013 was assessed. Findings – In total, 142 regional foods were identified and classified into four groups. This classification resulted in a decision tree model to identify regional foods. Approximately 45 percent of regional preparations and 82.5 percent of regional foods were offered totaling 455 preparations and 977 foods analyzed. However, 31 percent of the regional foods identified in Stage 1 were not offered in the menus analyzed. Various regional preparations lost their authenticity, possibly not being recognized because of a lack of traditional ingredients or because they contained non-regional foods that changed their character. Practical implications – The results mainly point to symbolic aspects of the production and consumption of regional foods and preparations that are important to promoting healthy diets. In addition, they can support public policies that promote the use of these foods in the school environment. Originality/value – This study analyzes the inclusion of regional foods in school meals–a topic rarely explored in the scientific literature – and proposes a decision tree model to identify regional foods with methodological rigor. This model can assist school food managers in including regional foods and developing studies related to this topic.
    British Food Journal 06/2015; 117(6):1706-1719. DOI:10.1108/BFJ-07-2014-0275 · 0.77 Impact Factor
Show more