The University of Kent recently published a study indicating a shift in global diets and food consumption. This study explains that countries like South Korea, China, and Taiwan are moving towards a meat and sugar-rich diet, whereas the United States, the UK, and Australia are moving towards a more plant-based diet. Read our blog post below to understand what’s causing these shifts and the effects both of these differences have on their respective populations.
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How a Growing Income Contributes to a Larger Consumption of Animal-Based Food
Over the past 50 years data has shown that countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and China have experienced large changes in their food, but why? Due to a lot of growth and development, these countries have a lot more disposable income. This plays a large part in food consumption as countries are beginning to afford a variety of meals made with more expensive ingredients. While many can argue that this is an economic success, this overall change in diet is also leading to an increase in obesity.
The Decline of Animal-Based Food in the West
While animal-based diets are rising in popularity in the East, we are seeing the exact opposite in the West, for the same exact reason, but how? According to The University of Kent, high-income English-speaking countries such as The United States, The United Kingdom, and Australia are focusing more on plant-based diets. This shift can be attributed to increased awareness of how food plays a role in our overall health. Additionally, due to the variety of available food, they are able to be more selective about their consumption and pick and choose what they eat. While this trend is strongest in the countries listed above, many other countries are experiencing this global diet shift as well.
So What Does This Global Diet Shift Mean?
While the food chain varies based on geography and overall country development, these findings showcase how important diet is to both public health and the environment. Professor Majid Ezzati from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London explains that “Advances in science and technology, together with growing incomes, have allowed many nations to have access to a diversity of foods.” “We must harness these advances and set in place policies that provide healthier foods for people everywhere, especially those who can currently least afford them.” Let us know what you think and how you feel about this topic in the comments below.