Appetite | VOL. 55
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Food consumption patterns and economic growth. Increasing affluence and the use of natural resources

Publication Date Dec 1, 2010

Abstract

This study analyzes relationships between food supply, consumption and income, taking supply, meat and dairy, and consumption composition (in macronutrients) as indicators, with annual per capita GDP as indicator for income. It compares food consumption patterns for 57 countries (2001) and gives time trends for western and southern Europe. Cross-sectional and time series relationships show similar patterns of change. For low income countries, GDP increase is accompanied by changes towards food consumption patterns with large gaps between supply and actual consumption. Total supply differs by a factor of two between low and high income countries. People in low income countries derive nutritional energy mainly from carbohydrates; the contribution of fats is small, that of protein the same as for high income countries and that of meat and dairy negligible. People in high income countries derive nutritional energy mainly from carbohydrates and fat, with substantial contribution of meat and dairy. Whenever and wherever economic growth occurs, food consumption shows similar change in direction. The European nutrition transition happened gradually, enabling agriculture and trade to keep pace with demand growth. Continuation of present economic trends might cause significant pressure on natural resources, because changes in food demand occur much faster than in the past, especially in Asia.

Concepts

Low Income Countries People In High Income Countries People In Low Income Countries Food Consumption Patterns Changes In Food Demand High Income Countries Food Consumption Income Countries Use Of Natural Resources People In Countries

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