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09-30-2016 | Obesity | Review | Article

Global Changes in Food Supply and the Obesity Epidemic

Current Obesity Reports

Authors: Emilie H. Zobel, Tine W. Hansen, Peter Rossing, Bernt Johan von Scholten

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

We explore how a global shift in the food system caused by global economic growth, increase in available food per capita and in food processing is a driver of the obesity epidemic.

Recent Findings

Economic development in most areas of the world has resulted in increased purchasing power and available per capita food. Supermarkets and a growing fast-food industry have transformed our dietary pattern. Ultra-processed food rich on sugars and saturated fat is now the major source of energy in most countries. The shift in food supply is considered a major driver of the obesity epidemic and the increasing prevalence of accompanying complications, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, the global shift might also have direct effects on the increase in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, independently of overweight and obesity.


The shift in the food supply is a major driver of the obesity epidemic.

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