John Libbey Eurotext

Médecine et Santé Tropicales


The nutrition transition and the double burden of malnutrition Volume 28, issue 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2018

1 Groupe de recherche Transnut sur la transition nutritionnelle et le développement, Département de nutrition, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, 2405, chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3T 1A8
2 Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’Université de Montréal, 7101 avenue du Parc, bureau 3187-03. Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3N 1X9
* Correspondance
  • Key words: nutritional transition, epidemiologic transition, obesity, chronic noncommunicable diseases, double burden of malnutrition
  • DOI : 10.1684/mst.2018.0831
  • Page(s) : 345-50
  • Published in: 2018

Chronic noncommunicable diseases are increasingly frequent in low- and mediumincome countries, but problems of malnutrition, such as growth restriction in children or micronutrient deficiencies in both children and adults, persist in these same countries. This double burden of malnutrition and the emergence of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes strain healthcare systems and constitute a sometimes unbearable load for the countries concerned, for the government, but also for the individuals affected and their families. This double burden is often associated with the nutrition transition or the progression away from the local traditional diet towards a Westernized diet frequently high in fat, salt, and sugar, with
low nutritional density. This transition is attributed to worldwide changes in dietary systems expressed by an increased availability of foodstuffs marketed across the planet, such as vegetable oils, sugars, and refined flours, but also the multiplication of points of sale of food that has been processed, even ultraprocessed. The efforts to battle this scourge must take into account the complexity of the phenomenon and the many factors associated with it. A systemic approach that considers the global forces governing the food systems must be promoted. Actions concerning nutrition must therefore emphasize simultaneously the problems of undernutrition and of overnutrition. WHO labels these interventions ‘‘double duty actions.’’