Chapter Ten
Fat and Sugar in the Global
Diet: Dietary Diversity in
the Nutrition Transition

Adam Drewnowski

Chronic undernutrition is mostly a consequence of widespread poverty (World Development Report 1993). World economic development has been associated with both an improvement in and a progressive globalization of the human diet. As countries develop and populations become more urban, societies enter different stages of what has been called the nutrition and demographic transitions. As incomes grow, grain-based diets rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber are being gradually abandoned in favor of diets that contain more animal products, sugars, and vegetable fats. The nutrition gap between rich and poor countries grows narrower, as all nations converge on a global diet higher in meat, milk and sweeteners and deriving 30 to 35 percent of its energy from fat.

Such diets are often superior to what had gone on before. Yet changing dietary habits are regarded by many nutritionists as a deplorable by-product of global economic growth (Gopalan 1992). Nutritionists have warned that the nutrition transition in developing nations has been associated with a shift in disease patterns away from malnutrition and nutrient deficiency diseases and toward increased risk of cardiovascular disease, non-insulin dependent diabetes, and cancer (World Development Report 1993). A world-wide epidemic of childhood obesity is another potential consequence of changing lifestyles and changing diets. Childhood obesity is an intermediate health marker that can serve as a predictor of more diet-related chronic diseases to come (Popkin 1992). However, it must be noted that diet-related chronic


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Food in Global History
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 293

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?