The global food environment transition based on the socio-demographic index

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Elsevier BV


Food environments are a critical point for reorienting the food system towards sustainable diets, as they are directly where consumers make decisions about which foods to acquire. Using global data, we examined shifts in food environments, and the availability, affordability, convenience, and quality of foods within them, over time on the basis of socio-demographic index (SDI) country groupings. Our findings provide evidence of a food environment transition where built environments have shifted from traditional to modern retail outlets between 2005 and 2019 and the availability and affordability of nutrient-rich foods has increased alongside growing sales of ultra-processed and ready-to-eat foods. This transition has implications for the identification of policy and program levers for promoting healthy and sustainable diets and reducing malnutrition globally.



global food environment, food, socio-demographic index


Downs, S. M., Ahmed, S., Warne, T., Fanzo, J., & Loucks, K. (2022). The global food environment transition based on the socio-demographic index. Global Food Security, 33, 100632.
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