The world’s developing countries are on a quick road to urbanization. More than half the people on the planet currently reside in cities, and experts on the matter say that the number will reach 70 percent (70%) by the time we hit 2050.
This is good for a few different reasons – blackouts are a thing of the past in big cities, running water isn’t an issue, you don’t have to look for wood in order to stay warm during the winter months, people formally from rural areas can finally experience modern day technology, educate themselves and make more money.
Unfortunately, one major side effect of living in cities is that more and more individuals are also adopting an unhealthy Western diet which consists of foods that are rich in calories and low on nutrients. And this phenomenon can be seen happening all across the planet.
A new study has revealed that fast food restaurants and pizza shops are rapidly expanding and “colonizing” virtually every country on the surface of the Earth, as David Tilman, study co-author and professor of Ecology over at the University of Minnesota, gave a statement informing that “[There’s a] nutrition transition occurring around the world”. Kicker is, that it’s not a change for the better.
Professor Tilman went on to explain that as people from all over the world receive a bigger income, they choose to add more calories and meat to their diet. But the problem is that this is a diet known for not being good for one’s health, and can lead to the development of several medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes or heart disease.
He went on to add that we already have a brand new groups of individuals who are malnourished simply because they choose to eat foods that are known for not having any nutritional benefit, and are doing them more harm than good. On top everything, consumption of processed foods is also on the rise.
Professor Tilman stressed that diets which are low on fruits and vegetables have a highly negative effect on a person’s health.
Ian Myles, a representative for the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave a statement of his own saying that a Western diet’s definitive characteristic is overconsumption of saturated fats, highly refined fats, highly refined sugars, animal protein, and very low intake of plant fibers.
He went on to add that such a diet ruins a person’s immune system. He offered an example, sharing that the body can easily confuse palmitic acid, an element typically found in candy bard, with bacteria such as E.Coli. As a result, the body starts an immune attack, but because the bacteria aren’t real, the consequence is a low level of inflammation.
In the event that the person does end up infected with the bacteria sometime in the future, their body won’t be as well equipped to attack. It takes them longer to recognize the infection, and when that finally happens their condition will have already worsened.
This change is reversible, the immune system can be taken back to its original state, however it requires a change in diet, an abandonment of the Western diet.
The study was published in the journal Nature.
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