The Nutrition Transition and Obesity

Barry M. Popkin

in The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Nutrition Transition and Obesity

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This chapter discusses the stages of the nutrition transition, and then describes the changes in the way one is eating, drinking, and moving, and the subsequent increase in energy imbalance across the globe. The nutrition transition has been manifested in five broad stages: (1) hunter-gatherers or collecting food, (2) famine, (3) receding famine, (4) noncommunicable disease, and (5) behavioral change. The major features of each stage are explained. Almost all countries in the world have a greater level of adult and child obesity today than they did a decade ago. It is unclear how the increased intake of snacks affects overall energy intake. There is extensive suggestive evidence that energy expenditures are decreasing across the lower- and middle-income world. In 2004, the World Health Organization adopted a global strategy to address the poor dietary and physical activity patterns that were causing global obesity.

Keywords: nutrition transition; obesity; eating; drinking; energy imbalance; hunter-gatherers; famine; noncommunicable disease; behavioral change; World Health Organization

Article.  5949 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare

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