Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Trade liberalisation and the nutrition transition: mapping the pathways for public health nutritionists

  • Anne Marie Thow (a1)

Abstract

Objective

To describe pathways through which trade liberalisation affects the food environment, relevant to the nutrition transition, in order to enable public health nutritionists to understand trade policy as a macro-level influence on food consumption.

Design

The pathways mapped in the present paper are based on the agreements of the World Trade Organization, which shape national policy. Implications for nutrition are presented based on a comprehensive literature review, and case studies are used to illustrate the various pathways.

Setting

Developing countries are currently experiencing a nutrition transition, resulting in dietary patterns associated with chronic disease. Chronic diseases are amenable to prevention, and trade policy has been highlighted as a potential avenue for nutrition-related prevention.

Results

Trade liberalisation influences the food environment through facilitating trade in goods and services, enabling investment and decreasing support/protection for domestic industry. These policy outcomes facilitate the nutrition transition particularly through increasing the availability and affordability of processed foods and animal products. The framework highlights the complex relationship between trade policy and the nutrition transition, with both negative and positive outcomes arising from different aspects of trade liberalisation.

Conclusions

Policy change associated with trade liberalisation has created incentives for consumption patterns associated with the nutrition transition, but has also had some positive nutritional outcomes. As a result, it is important for public health nutritionists to consider the implications of trade policy decisions in their efforts to prevent and control diet-related chronic diseases.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Trade liberalisation and the nutrition transition: mapping the pathways for public health nutritionists
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Trade liberalisation and the nutrition transition: mapping the pathways for public health nutritionists
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Trade liberalisation and the nutrition transition: mapping the pathways for public health nutritionists
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email am.thow@gmail.com

References

Hide All
1.Schaffer, ER, Waitzkin, H, Brenner, J & Jasso-Aguilar, R (2005) Global trade and public health. Am J Public Health 95, 2334.
2.Bettcher, DW, Yach, D & Guindon, GE (2000) Global trade and health: key linkages and future challenges. Bull World Health Organ 78, 521534.
3.World Health Organization and World Trade Organization (2002) WTO Agreements and Public Health: A Joint Study by the WHO and WTO Secretariat. Geneva:WTO/WHO.
4.Blouin, C, Chopra, M & van der Hoeven, R (2009) Trade and health 3: trade and the social determinants of health. Lancet 373, 502507.
5.Cassels, S (2006) Overweight in the Pacific: links between foreign dependence, global food trade and obesity in the Federated States of Micronesia. Global Health 2, 10.
6.Evans, M, Sinclair, RC, Fusimalohi, C & Liava’a, V (2001) Globalization, diet and health: an example from Tonga. Bull World Health Organ 79, 856862.
7.Hawkes, C & Thow, AM (2008) Implications of the Central America–Dominican Republic-Free Trade Agreement for the nutrition transition in Central America. Rev Panam Salud Publica 24, 345360.
8.Rayner, G, Hawkes, C, Lang, T & Bello, W (2006) Trade liberalization and the diet transition: a public health response. Health Promot Int 21, Suppl. 1, 6774.
9.Caballero, B & Popkin, BM (editors) (2002) The Nutrition Transition: Diet and Disease in the Developing World. London: Elsevier Science.
10.Popkin, B (2002) An overview on the nutrition transition and its health implications: the Bellagio meeting. Public Health Nutr 5, 93103.
11.World Health Organization (2005) Preventing Chronic Disease: A Vital Investment. Geneva: WHO.
12.World Health Organization (2003) Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Geneva: WHO.
13.World Bank (2006) Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development: A Strategy for Large-Scale Action. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
14.Rekas, M (2006) Developing Countries Find Voice in Hong Kong. http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/fasworldwide/2006/02-2006/WTOHongKongMinisterial.htm (accessed March 2008).
15.Labonté, R & Schrecker, T (2007) Globalization and social determinants of health: promoting health equity in global governance (part 3 of 3). Global Health 3, 7.
16.Cawley, J (2004) An economic framework for understanding physical activity and eating behaviors. Am J Prev Med 27, Suppl. 3, 117125.
17.Sobal, J, Khan, LK & Bisogni, C (1998) A conceptual model of the food and nutrition system. Soc Sci Med 47, 853863.
18.Heywood, P & Lund-Adams, M (1991) The Australian food and nutrition system: a basis for policy formulation and analysis. Aust J Public Health 15, 258270.
19.World Trade Organization (2007) Understanding the WTO. Geneva: WTO.
20.World Trade Organization (1994) Uruguay Round Agreements. http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/legal_e.htm (accessed March 2008).
21.World Trade Organization (1994) Agreement on Agriculture. Geneva: WTO.
22.World Trade Organization (1994) Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. Geneva: WTO.
23.World Trade Organization (1994) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. Geneva: WTO.
24.Food and Agricultural Organization (2004) The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets. Rome: FAO.
25.Nugent, R (2004) Food and agriculture policy: issues related to prevention of noncommunicable diseases. Food Nutr Bull 25, 200207.
26.Popkin, BM (1998) The nutrition transition and its health implications in lower-income countries. Public Health Nutr 1, 521.
27.Schoeffel, P (1992) Food, health and development in the Pacific Islands: policy implications for Micronesia. J Micronesian Stud 1, 223250.
28.Zhang, X (2002) The dynamics of Chinese consumers: a case of Shanghai food consumption. J Int Food Agribusiness Mark 14, 4766.
29.Lardy, NR (2003) Trade liberalization and its role in Chinese economic growth. http://www.imf.org/external/np/apd/seminars/2003/newdelhi/lardy.pdf (accessed March 2008).
30.Huang, J & Rozelle, S (2001) Trade Liberalization, WTO and China’s Food Economy in the 21st Century: Larger, Modest, or Little Impacts? Trade Working Papers no. 191. Canberra: East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
31.Food and Agricultural Organization (2007) FAOSTAT trade data, TradeStat detailed trade data. http://faostat.fao.org/site/535/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=535 (accessed July 2007).
32.World Trade Organization (2009) The WTO and the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO). http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/coher_e/wto_itc_e.htm (accessed February 2009).
33.Thaman, RR & Thomas, PM (1985) Cassava and change in Pacific Island food systems. In Food Energy in Tropical Ecosystems, pp. 191–228 [DJ Cattle and KH Schwerin, editors]. New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
34.Cypher, JM & Dietz, JL (2008) The Process of Economic Development, 3rd ed.London: Routledge.
35.Brun, TA (1991) The nutrition and health impact of cash cropping in West Africa: a historical perspective. World Rev Nutr Diet 65, 124162.
36.Raschke, V & Cheema, B (2008) Colonisation, the New World Order, and the eradication of traditional food habits in East Africa: historical perspective on the nutrition transition. Public Health Nutr 11, 662674.
37.Fouéré, T, Maire, B, Delpeuch, F, Martin-Prével, Y, Tchibindat, F & Adoua-Oyila, G (2000) Dietary changes in African urban households in response to currency devaluation: foreseeable risks for health and nutrition. Public Health Nutr 3, 293301.
38.Bourke, RM (2005) Marketed fresh food: a successful part of the Papua New Guinea economy. Dev Bull 67, 2224.
39.World Trade Organization (1994) General Agreement on Trade in Services. Geneva: WTO.
40.World Trade Organization (1994) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Including Trade in Counterfeit Goods. Geneva: WTO.
41.World Trade Organization (1994) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Investment Measures. Geneva: WTO.
42.Schmidhuber, J & Shetty, P (2005) Nutrition transition, obesity and noncommunicable diseases: drivers, outlook and concerns. SCN News 29, 1319.
43.Hawkes, C (2005) The role of foreign direct investment in the nutrition transition. Public Health Nutr 8, 357365.
44.Narsey, W (1995) Nutritional development within free markets. Paper presented at the National Nutrition Planning Meeting, 22 November 1995, University of the South Pacific.
45.Handy, CR & Langley, S (1993) Food processing in Mexico attracts US investments – Industry Overview. Food Rev 16, 2024.
46.Bolling, C & Somwaru, A (2001) US food companies access foreign markets through direct investment. Food Rev 24, 2328.
47.Hawkes, C (2006) Uneven dietary development: linking the policies and processes of globalization with the nutrition transition, obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. Global Health 2, 4.
48.Rivera, JA, Barquera, S, González-Cossío, T, Olaiz, G & Sepulveda, J (2004) Nutrition transition in Mexico and in other Latin American countries. Nutr Rev 62, Suppl. 2, S149SS57.
49.Reardon, T, Timmer, P & Berdegue, J (2004) The rapid rise of supermarkets in developing countries: induced organizational, institutional and technological change in agrifood systems. Electron J Agric Dev Econ 1, 168183.
50.Reardon, T, Timmer, P, Barrett, CB & Berdegue, J (2003) The rise of supermarkets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Am J Agric Econ 85, 11401146.
51.Bermudez, OI & Tucker, KL (2003) Trends in dietary patterns of Latin American populations. Cad Saude Publica 19, Suppl. 1, S87S99.
52.Tessier, S & Gerber, M (2005) Factors determining the nutrition transition in two Mediterranean islands: Sardinia and Malta. Public Health Nutr 8, 12861292.
53.Mizzi, L (1995) Food and nutrition policy in Malta. Food Policy 20, 475486.
54.Hastings, G, McDermott, L, Angus, K, Stead, M & Thomson, S (2007) The Extent, Nature and Effects of Food Promotion to Children: A Review of the Evidence. A Technical Report Prepared for the WHO. Geneva: WHO.
55.Thaman, RR (1988) Consumerism, the media, and malnutrition in the Pacific Islands. J Pac Stud 14, 6890.
56.Ciochetto, L (2004). Advertising and globalisation in India. Presented at the 18th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Lund, Sweden, 6–9 July 2004. European Association for South Asian Studies.
57.Mukherji, P (1999) The gold rush in modern times: a study of the impact of economic liberalization on the cultural content of Indian advertisements. Master of Arts in Communication, University of Delaware.
58.Griffiths, PL & Bentley, ME (2001) The nutrition transition is underway in India. J Nutr 131, 26922700.
59.World Trade Organization (1994) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. Geneva: WTO.
60.Aksoy, A & Beghin, JC (editors) (2005) Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries. Washington, DC: World Bank.
61.World Trade Organization (1994) Agreement on Implementation of Article VI (Anti-dumping). Geneva: WTO.
62.Watkins, K & von Braun, J (2003) Time to Stop Dumping on the World’s Poor. 2002–2003 IFPRI Annual Report Essay. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.
63.Meliczek, H (1996) Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Strategies in the Post-Cold War Era (Rural Development International Workshop). W4760/E. Rome: UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
64.Drewnowski, A (2000) Nutrition transition and global dietary trends. Nutrition 16, 486487.
65.Kwiecinski, A & Leopold, A (1993) Polish agriculture during the transition period. In Stabilization and Structural Adjustment in Poland, pp. 206–218 [H Kierzkowski, M Okolski and S Wellisz, editors]. London: Routledge.
66.Zatonski, WA, McMichael, AJ & Powles, JW (1998) Ecological study of reasons for sharp decline in mortality from ischaemic heart disease in Poland since 1991. Br Med J 316, 10471051.
67.Waskiewicz, A, Piotrowski, W, Sygnowska, E, Rywik, S & Jasinski, B (2006) Did favourable trends in food consumption observed in the 1984–2001 period contribute to the decrease in cardiovascular mortality? – Pol-MONICA Warsaw Project. Kardiol Pol 64, 1623.
68.Lawrence, M (2003) Using Domestic Law in the Fight Against Obesity: An Introductory Guide for the Pacific. Manila:WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific.
69.Bloche, MG & Jungmann, ER (2007) Health policy and the World Trade Organization. In Globalization and Health, pp. 250–267 [I Kawachi and S Wamala, editors]. New York: Oxford University Press.
70.Kelsey, J (2004) Big Brothers Behaving Badly: The Implications for the Pacific Islands of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER). Suva, Fiji: Pacific Network on Globalisation.
71.Beaglehole, R & Yach, D (2003) Globalisation and the prevention and control of non-communicable disease: the neglected chronic diseases of adults. Lancet 362, 903908.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed