Term Paper: Nutrition Food and Dietary Habits

Pages: 4 (1035 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] At the same time, income levels went up and there was a marked improvement in transport that made it possible to transfer goods from one location to another.

These changes led to a dramatic change in food choices in Europe till 1950s. Total calorie intake increased by 50%. Initially European countries increased their intake of starch in the form of bread and potatoes. Once their initial hunger was satisfied, they started adding variety to their food choices and thus included sugar, oils and fats, fruit and vegetables, and also meat and dairy goods. With this expansion in food choices, nutritional history took a huge turn as Europe started relying less on starchy staples. (Grigg, 1996)

By 1960s, it was seen that there existed some wide differences between dietary habits of various regions. The world was still however more depended on plant foods for energy than on meat or animal food. Total calorie intake was higher in western and developed countries- almost 55% more than developing countries. Protein intake was also 83% more as developing countries depended heavily on starchy staples. With increase in income, reliance on starchy foods is reduced as livestock products become more accessible.

Since 1962, however, there have been significant steady increases in income levels of the developing countries which have led to a change in dietary habits (World Bank, 1990). The changes thus witnessed are similar to the ones Western countries experienced during the 19th century. Except in Africa, where income level did not increase, every developing country has witnessed positive change in its nutritional habits. Consumption of all types of food including dairy and meat products has increased and Asia has shown greatest improvement. In Latin America, however, it appears food consumption and nutritional patterns have remained more or less static since 1980s. Sugar intake has remained unchanged and consumption of starchy staples has decreased. Japan and Korea have been the slowest to accept change or change their dietary habits. Even though these two are highly prosperous nations, still they food choices are still markedly different from the rest of the world. Rice is still very important part of their diet and consumption of animal foods is relatively low. (FAO, 1996b)

Western countries have also shown changes in nutritional preferences since 1960s. Calorie intake is higher in five prosperous regions of the world and has continued to rise. Intake of vegetable oils and fats has also risen along with consumption of meat which has increased everywhere except in the region of Australasia. Cereals are more popular in North America and some European countries now than they were before 1960s and consumption of sugar has declined in parts of Western Europe and Australasia. Consumption of alcohol and related beverages has declined in developed countries since 1970s along with dairy products that showed decline in North America, Eastern Europe, the U.S.S.R. (FAO, 1996b).


1. Food and Agriculture Organization, 1996a The sixth world food survey. Rome: FAO.

2. Food and Agriculture Organization, 1996b. Food balance sheets 1961-1994. Rome: FAO.

3. Grigg, D. 1995 The nutritional transition… [END OF PREVIEW]

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