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A Review of the Growth of the Fast Food Industry in China and Its Potential Impact on Obesity

by Youfa Wang 1,*,†, Liang Wang 2,*,†, Hong Xue 1 and Weidong Qu 3
Systems-Oriented Global Childhood Obesity Intervention Program, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, New York, NY 14214, USA
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA
Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, Chinese Ministry of Education, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 200000, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1112;
Received: 24 July 2016 / Revised: 18 October 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
The fast-food (FF) industry and obesity rates have rapidly increased in China. This study examined the FF industry growth in China, key factors contributing to the growth, and the association between FF consumption (FFC) and obesity. We collected related data from multiple sources and conducted analysis including linear regression analysis on the increase in FF revenue. It was found that FF industry in China is large, with over two million FF facilities. Its total revenue (in million US$) increased from 10,464 in 1999 to 94,218 in 2013, and by 13% annually since 2008. Increased income, urbanization, busier lifestyle, speedy FF service, assurance of food safety, new brands and foods have stimulated demand for FF. Studies have linked FFC with obesity risk, including a few reporting a positive association between FFC and obesity in China. Rapid expansion of Western-style FF restaurants has also stimulated local FF industry growth. Government regulation and public health education need to address the health consequences of rapidly increasing FFC. Lessons learned in China will help other countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: fast food; dietary intake; obesity; overweight; policy; China fast food; dietary intake; obesity; overweight; policy; China
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Wang, Y.; Wang, L.; Xue, H.; Qu, W. A Review of the Growth of the Fast Food Industry in China and Its Potential Impact on Obesity. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1112.

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