Structural Shifters in the Global Demand for Food: Urbanization and Ageing

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Changes in the global food economy involve both supply-side and demand-side forces. This paper focuses on two potentially important demand-side shifters: urbanization and ageing. An analytical problem in the literature on this subject has been separating the effects of these shifters from the effects of income growth, which has been correlated with them. The evidence suggests that urbanization raises the demand for energy-dense foods that are more easily prepared than traditional foods such as staple grains. It does not seem to increase total intake of calories per person, but to substitute one source of calories for another, with more consumption per person of animal products, including meat and dairy products, more consumption of vegetable oils and wheat products, and less consumption of traditional staples, including most grains, other than processed products made from them, and pulses. In nutritional terms, urbanization leads to more consumption of animal and vegetable fats and less consumption of complex carbohydrates and fiber. The effects of ageing of the population are less well studied. They seem to be qualitatively similar to, though smaller than, the effects of urbanization: less consumption of staple grains and more consumption of wheat products, meat, fish and fruit.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHunger and Malnutrition as Major Challenges of the 21st Century
    Editors Raghbendra Jha
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Company
    ISBN (Print)9789813239920
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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