Export of American Diet Wreaking Havoc on the World

The spread of fast food, processed food, and animal protein to developing countries is leading to an increase in disease.


The spread of the Western diet to the developing world is swinging malnutrition in an unhealthy direction, Ian Myles, US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says. “The biggest features [of a Western diet] are over consumption of over-refined sugars, highly refined and saturated fats, animal protein, and a reduced intake of plant-based fibers,” Myles reports. Whereas our previous notions of “hunger” revolved around food shortages in developing countries, the consumption of Western fast food in urbanized cities is the driving force behind nutritionally deprived diets, with higher global incidences of type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancers. Additionally, the World Health Organization reported that global obesity has more than doubled since 1980. KFC entered the African market in 1973 and has multiple restaurants in 16 African countries while McDonald’s and Burger King established its brands in sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade with future expansion in place. According to Domino’s Pizza president Ritch Allison, the expansion of his chain to Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya in recent years has produced “such a strong reaction to our brand” that the locations in “sub-Saharan Africa are among our highest-volume stores in the world.”

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