, Volume 80, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 21-27
Date: 15 Feb 2013

Nutrition Transition and Its Health Outcomes

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Abstract

Advances in agriculture and food systems, consequent increases in food availability, and a shift in dietary consumption patterns with economic development and urbanization of developing societies leads to adverse health outcomes. The structure of the habitual diet is altered and is characterized by increasing consumption of fats, saturated fats largely from animal sources and sugars. Lifestyle changes in an increasingly urbanized environment which occurs concurrently contributes to a reduction in physical activity levels which promotes overweight and obesity. The essence of these changes is captured by the term ‘nutrition transition’ which accompanies the demographic and epidemiologic transition in these countries with economic development. The existing burden of undernutrition in developing countries is thus compounded by the adverse effects of the nutrition transition, notably the increasing prevalence of obesity and non-communicable diseases. This double burden of malnutrition adds to the health and economic burden of developing societies.