The establishing world is seeing rapid urbanization, with majority of the world’s population now living in cities and this figure expected to reach 70% by 2050.
However with this development comes a metropolitan way of life– typically suggesting less physical activity and the intake of a “Western” diet.
What is a Western diet?
“The biggest features [of a Western diet] are overconsumption of over-refined sugars, highly refined and saturated fats, animal protein and a reduced intake of plant-based fibers,” says Ian Myles, from the United States National Institute of Allergic reaction and Contagious Diseases. This equates to a diet high in fat, red meat, salt and sugars, and low in fiber.
“Too many calories in general,” says Myles– a pattern helped by the relocation to a culture of fast food.
But what impact can this diet have on your health?
“[There’s a] nutrition transition occurring around the world,” says David Tilman, teacher of Ecology at the University of Minnesota. In a recent research study, Tilman checked out global trends in diet choices and the link in between these diet plans and health.
“People around the world, as incomes go up, choose more calories and meat in their diet,” says Tilman. The outcome? Possibly dreadful effects on health and an increased danger of disease.
“We have a whole new group of people who are malnourished because they eat foods that are no good for them, that have no nutritional benefit,” states Tilman. The pattern contradicts the more conventional causes of malnutrition.
Likewise increasing is access to, and consumption of, processed foods.
“Processed foods have low nutritional value,” says Tilman, who explains processed food as having empty calories. “Diet plans low in vegetables and fruit have a strong unfavorable health impact,” he states.
And a diet high in processed foods– and typically a contemporary “Western” diet– is even worse.
Plainly, diet plays a large role in the health of a population and when it concerns improving individual health, experts stress the requirement for individuals to take more note of exactly what they are consuming.