Deckelbaum RJ

Columbia University, Institute of Human Nutrition, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY, USA


The last few decades have witnessed global changes in economic development, communication, and lifestyles which have the potential to impact upon the risk of adult chronic diseases – even in countries which have had much lower prevalence rates than in Europe or North America.  Recent “westernization” of diet in different countries provides an opportunity to determine if these and other lifestyle changes will impact upon chronic disease risk factors in children and their potential contribution to risk of atherosclerosis-related diseases in the adult population.  High blood cholesterol levels, obesity, and type II diabetes are now prevalent in countries where these were previously very infrequent in children.  Comparisons among different racial-ethnic populations living in different areas also offers an opportunity to consider whether changing nutrient intakes will result in similar or disparate responses in various populations and if genetic differences between different populations might impact upon the effect of diet on chronic disease risk factors.  This might provide some evidence for gene-environment interactions as important modulators in expression of chronic disease risk in different populations.