Global changes in diet and activity patterns as drivers of the nutrition transition

  • Popkin B
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Abstract

The nutrition transition relates to broad patterns of diet, activity and body composition that have defined our nutritional status in various stages of history. The world is rapidly shifting from a dietary period in which the higher income countries were dominated by patterns of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases (NR-NCDs; while the lower and middle world were dominated by receding famine) to one in which the world is increasingly being dominated by NR-NCDs. Dietary changes appear to be shifting universally toward a diet dominated by higher intakes of caloric sweeteners, animal source foods, and edible oils. Activity patterns at work, leisure, travel, and in the home are equally shifting rapidly toward reduced energy expenditure. Large-scale declines in food prices (e.g., beef prices), increased access to supermarkets, and urbanization of urban and rural areas are key underlying factors. Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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  • B M Popkin

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