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Article Title

Diet, nutrition and chronic disease in Mainland China

Authors

J. Chen
W. Zhao

Abstract

In the recent 3 decades, along with the rapid development of national economy, dietary pattern and lifestyle have undergone significant changes in Mainland China. At the same time, the major causes of disease and death in Mainland China have shifted from predominantly infectious disease and diet-related deficiency diseases to overweight/obesity and other non-communicable diseases, including hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancers, etc. The characteristics of the dietary change are the decrease of cereal and vegetable consumption and the increase of animal foods and oil/fat consumption; although the average Chinese dietary pattern remains a plant food based diet. These dietary changes, in combination with the decrease of physical activity (sedentary life), continuous increase of tobacco and alcohol consumption have led to the rapid increase of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The overall contribution of NCDs death to the total death of Chinese people is around 80%. Current evidences have provided enough scientific basis for placing NCDs prevention and control as the high priority in public health; although further studies on the interactions between human genome and lifestyle factors are important for improving the effectiveness of prevention and control strategies.

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