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Catherine Esnouf, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris,Marie Russel, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris,Nicolas Bricas, Centre de Co-opération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Paris
Analysis of the medium- and long-term evolution of global food consumption highlights some striking regularities. This chapter addresses the potential consequences of a generalisation of these trends, before focusing on their determinants and in particular the factors that might alter current trends to promote greater sustainability. Six main areas are covered: the characteristics of long-term changes to diet, the international convergence of food models and evolution of the situation in Southern countries, the bio-physiological determinants of changes to consumption, the role of agricultural policies, the identification of factors that may change trends and, finally, the heterogeneity of consumption and nutritional inequalities.
One of the major issues addressed by this working group was to determine whether dietary trends and their underlying major determinants were the same in all countries, or whether on the contrary it was possible to identify differences that might indicate alternative pathways for change. The same concern led the group to look at break points in past consumption trends, concerning meat in particular, insofar as they might lead to a clearer understanding of the mechanisms underlying the alteration of long-term trends and the emergence of new dietary standards.
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