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Global nutrition dynamics: the world is shifting rapidly toward a diet linked with noncommunicable diseases

This review examines the global 'nutrition transition', the ongoing shift in dietary patterns that results from socioeconomic and demographic change.

The author finds that while dietary changes are fairly well documented, other aspects such as how global media or activity-levels influence these changes are poorly recognised. For example, how the drop in manual labour that results as a society becomes more prosperous might affect activity levels.

The author takes an evolutionary view of the nutrition transition, acknowledging that populations have repeatedly striven to make food more plentiful and better tasting (which has often translated to more processed or higher calorie contents) and to expend as little physical energy in the process.

He argues that rapidly-developing countries must consider how to ensure that their richer, well-fed populations do not succumb to degenerative or chronic diseases. There is a strong economic incentive: sick populations drain the economy.

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