Symposium on Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases and Children

The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 80, Supplement 1, pp 21-27

First online:

Nutrition Transition and Its Health Outcomes

  • Prakash ShettyAffiliated withBiomedical Research Centre in Nutrition, University of Southampton School of Medicine Email author 

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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.


Nutrition transition Double burden of malnutrition Non-communicable diseases Overweight and obesity Attributable risk Economic costs