Fast-Food Value Chains and Childhood Obesity: A Global Perspective

  • Michelle ChristianEmail author
  • Gary Gereffi
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE)


As childhood obesity and overweight statistics continue to rise throughout the globe, a broader analysis regarding the economic, political, and social contexts that shape children’s food choices is needed. This chapter advances a multilevel approach to studying childhood obesity by outlining a fast-food global value chain, with an emphasis on the role of fast-food corporations and their connection to dietary dependence. Dietary dependence posits that a country’s mode of integration into the global economy accelerates its population’s dependence on imported products and processed food from transnational corporations. Global fast-food expansion in China, India, and Russia illustrates how fast food directly shapes food availability and food options in the global market, strengthening and expanding dietary dependence on imported, processed, and fast-food varieties. Fast-food corporations continue to accelerate their global presence to offset pressure in the United States to provide healthier food options, although curbing the trend toward fast-food consumption has proven notoriously difficult everywhere.


Food and agricultural value chains Global value chain Dietary dependence Transnational corporation Fast-food marketing Food choice 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the valuable research assistance they received in preparing this second edition chapter from Zach McKenney. Joonkoo Lee, Kim Rogers, Yisel Valdes, and Aileen Zhang were instrumental in helping prepare the first edition chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Tennessee at KnoxvilleKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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