JOHNSON CITY (December 7, 2016) – Dr. Liang Wang, assistant professor in the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, has published an article with his obesity research team that addresses the impact of the fast food industry in China.
Wang wrote the article, “A Review of the Growth of the Fast Food Industry in China and Its Potential Impact on Obesity,” with Drs. Youfa Wang and Hong Xue, professors at the University at Buffalo, and Dr. Weidong Qu, associate dean and professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. The article recently was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The authors examined the fast food industry in China, the key factors contributing to the growth of fast food in China and the association between fast food consumption and obesity. Factors contributing to the growth and demand of fast food in China were found to be increased income, urbanization, busier lifestyle, speedy fast food service, assurance of food safety and new brands.
Their research shows that fast food revenue in China has increased from roughly $10.5 billion in 1999 to $94.2 billion in 2013. Assuming that the trend continues, the authors project that fast food revenue will increase to more than $190 billion in 2030. Parallel to the increase in fast food revenue, the prevalence of obese and overweight adults in China rose from 20 percent in 1992 to 30 percent in 2002 and to 42 percent in 2012. The association between the two is discussed using studies in the article.
The findings of this study emphasize the need to address the health consequences of increasing fast food consumption in China by government regulation and public health education, Wang said.
The study is funded in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.