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Annu Rev Nutr. 2001;21:47-71.

Nutritional consequences of the African diaspora.

Author information

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Loyola University School of Medicine, Maywood, Illinois 60153, USA. aluke@luc.edu

Abstract

Along with their foods and dietary customs, Africans were carried into diaspora throughout the Americas as a result of the European slave trade. Their descendants represent populations at varying stages of the nutrition transition. West Africans are in the early stage, where undernutrition and nutrient deficiencies are prevalent. Many Caribbean populations represent the middle stages, with undernutrition and obesity coexisting. African-Americans and black populations in the United Kingdom suffer from the consequences of caloric excess and diets high in fat and animal products. Obesity, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers all follow an east-to-west gradient of increasing prevalence. Public health efforts must focus not only on eradicating undernutrition in West Africa and the Caribbean but also on preventing obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and their consequences. Fortunately, a coherent and well-supported set of recommendations exists to promote better nutrition. Implementation of it founders primarily as a result of the influence of commercial and political interests.

PMID:
11375429
DOI:
10.1146/annurev.nutr.21.1.47
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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