Diet and the diseases of affluence

Human beings have evolved in a hostile environment in which food has always been scarce. It is only in the last half-century, and only in Western Europe, North America and Australasia, that there is a surplus of food. As discussed in Chapter 8, food is still short in much of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This chapter is concerned with the role of diet and nutrition in the so-called diseases of affluence: the health problems of developed countries, associated with a superabundant availability of food.

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