The western food industry in the developing world

In Featured Posts by Prof7 Comments

We discussed how the food industry can play an important role in addressing the world hunger problem.  Food scientist certainly know how to preserve foods and reduce spoilage and waste.  Food scientists know how to develop pasteurization and other technologies to make sure foods and beverages are safe.

One concern of some nutritionists, however, is that some food companies may also view the developing world as just another market.  As noted in this recent article (October, 2016), they suggest that globalization, urbanization, and technological progress may lead to many of the same Western diseases that afflict the developed world.

In other words, they ask, does the introduction of salty snack foods or sugary beverages really improve the lives of the intended populations?  They contend that sales of highly processed foods in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East grew at rates 25 – 30 times that of North America.  Soon they predict, obesity will be a problem, even while malnutrition remains a serious problem.

It will certainly be a challenge for people in developing countries to avoid western diet temptations.  Otherwise, it will be just one more case where the cure is as bad as the disease.



  1. It’s sad how Westernized food companies are providing food for these impoverished areas because it’s not healthy for them. Instead of providing these areas with cheap, wholesome food, companies just look at it as another place where they can make a profit and don’t realize the damage it’s causing to these areas instead of helping.

  2. I think this post is rather important as the developing world becomes more globalized we will see more of the “lifestyle diseases” become more prevalent in these countries which can be a big issue for countries where healthcare may be less developed. This brings in a big ethical question as to whether we should be allowing some of these companies to become a big part of developing worlds diets. I am curious to see what will happen in the future regarding this trend and how countries will deal with these issues.

  3. With the development of globalization and the progress of technology, a lot of junk food is pouring into developing countries, which is a good thing for food factories, because they have the larger market, but there are always two sides to everything, it will cause more obesity in developing countries, governments in developing countries should take decisions and policies to prohibit these junk food.

  4. I believe obesity would be caused by the amounts they eat. The food is simply being made available to them, how they choose to eat it and choose to handle that is up to them. More people would be well nourished and fed rather than starving or obese in my opinion.

  5. I completely agree that some companies just view hunger as a market. I think that this can cause problems. I think that companies should try to see their consumers as real people and not just pockets full of money. Making them feel appreciated/making them feel like you care for their health can go along way.

  6. What makes Westernized foods delicious? The high amounts of fats, sugars, and salts that are in their processed products. I definitely can see the “market” “grow” both physically and numerically if these actions would be taken. For me, and I’ve been getting better at it, is using self control to say no to junk food and unhealthy snacks. But with the growth and exploitation of these new and upcoming markets, it can soon be out of control.

  7. I think this is an interesting problem for a country to have, having both obesity and malnutrition . The developing world shouldn’t be seen as just another market. The food companies are causing more harm than good and should seek ways to help everyone, not just the population that can afford their junk food.

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