China's Processed Food Market Expected To Surpass America's
According to a research firm, Chinese could be consuming 5 million extra metric tons' worth of packaged food by 2015. The reasons mirror America's past; the potential consequences mirror America's present and future.
What's the Latest Development?
Market research firm Euromonitor International estimates that by 2015 Chinese customers could be eating as many as 107 million metric tons of packaged, processed food, surpassing Americans' consumption by five million and making China the largest convenience food market in the world. Even though the average Chinese citizen will still eat a lot less processed food than the average American, and the American market will have more estimated value ($369 billion versus $238 billion), the increase in the number of Chinese eating that food will represent a 66 percent jump from 2008.
What's the Big Idea?
Just as was the case for the US in the mid-20th century, vast changes in China's culture -- notably the increase of women in the workforce and the move from rural to urban settings -- are why convenience foods of all types are becoming more popular. More money in citizens' pockets also means more access to these foods as well as to meat. However, with this access comes problems that are all too familiar: New research indicates that 12 percent of Chinese adults have diabetes, and the number of diabetes-related complications is growing significantly. And despite having more money, most find that healthier processed foods, such as those without preservatives, are still out of reach.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Yes, a coup d'état.
- Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
- A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
- Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.