How we eat determines what we become: opportunities and challenges brought by food delivery industry in a changing world in China

Abstract

Rapid economic growth and urbanization have brought notable changes in China. This trend had dramatic impacts to food industry and diet-related behaviors, which leads to increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity as well as diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). With a rapid development of internet and e-commerce market, another emerging trend that should not be overlooked is the change in food shopping habits induced by the popularity of online-to-offline (O2O) food delivery service in China. The O2O food market is a booming industry in China, the market scale of O2O food industry is increasing with remarkable speed. More than 1/5 of total population in China has already became the users of O2O food delivery market. Development of this new trend in food environment is inevitable. This game-changing trend brings great opportunities to improve food accessibility and availability but meanwhile poses inevitable challenges to the whole public health system and social environment in China. This paper offers a unique perspective of the opportunities and challenges that the new industry brings to food environment, health outcomes caused by related behavior change, and its broader influence on social environment.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from China Medical Board (CMB) Collaborating Program (15-216) and Cyrus Tang Foundation (419600-11102)

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Correspondence to Shankuan Zhu.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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These authors contributed equally: Mayila Maimaiti, Xueyin Zhao.

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Maimaiti, M., Zhao, X., Jia, M. et al. How we eat determines what we become: opportunities and challenges brought by food delivery industry in a changing world in China. Eur J Clin Nutr 72, 1282–1286 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0191-1

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