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Effect of Westernization of Nutritional Habits on Obesity in Latin America

Recommendations for the Region
  • S. Jaime Rozowski
  • Manuel Moreno
Part of the Nutrition ◊ and ◊ Health book series (NH)

Abstract

Latin American countries have a rather heterogeneous situation in demography, culture, and socioeconomic status leading to a wide range of health profiles in their population. Migration of the population from rural to urban areas has led to the growth of large cities, generally without an adequately organized urbanization. The number of cities in Latin America with more than two million inhabitants has increased from four in 1950 to 14 in 1985. Those with more than 100,000 inhabitants have increased from 55 to 216 in the same period of time (1). In industrialized countries this urbanization usually brings along progress in technology and social organization. However, in developing countries the benefits of urban growth tend to be only in the upper socioeconomic levels. In the lower socioeconomic groups, urbanization usually leads to a relative decrease in income that (from the nutritional point of view) shifts consumption toward high-calorie foods with a reduced nutrient density, with a trend toward incorporating eating habits of the more industrialized nations. In fact, this trend is shown by the majority of people in what could be called “nutritional westernization,” characterized by an increase in the consumption of the so-called fast foods coupled with a tendency toward decreased physical activity.

Keywords

Latin American Country Serum Cholesterol Level Nutrition Education Socioeconomic Level Gross National Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Jaime Rozowski
  • Manuel Moreno

There are no affiliations available

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