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Problematising the Inevitability of the Epidemiological Transition: Trade, Transnational Food Corporations, and the Rapid Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases in Low-Income countries
Category : Public Talks
Date : 30 Apr, 2013
Time : 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue : Room A824, 8/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker(s):
Dr. Paul Kadetz, DPhil (Oxon.), MPH, MSN, MSc. (Oxon.), APRN-BC.

Paul is an Assistant Professor of Global Challenges – Global Public Health at Leiden University College The Hague. He is also on the faculty of the Arizona School of Health Sciences and is an Associate of the China Centre for Health and Humanity at University College London. Paul completed his DPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford, where he also completed a MSc. in Medical Anthropology (with distinction). Paul also holds a MPH in International Health and Development; a MSOM in Acupuncture and Herbology; and a MSN as an Adult Nurse Practitioner.  Paul has served as an external expert researcher for the Western Pacific Region Office of the World Health Organization and has conducted research on health care, health care systems and maternal child health in China, Cuba, Guatemala, the Philippines and the United States. His research has been published in international peer-reviewed journals and in edited volumes. Paul’s research interests broadly concern health inequities in low-income populations and the myriad factors resulting in these inequities.

Abstract:
The theory of the epidemiological transition proposes that increases in non-communicable diseases within populations is an inevitable outcome of industrialisation and economic development. However, this presentation will argue that the recent exponential increase of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low-income countries is not an inevitability of “development” per se, but rather a result of the political economy of trade; particularly the trade of transnational food corporations and foreign direct investment in unhealthy and toxic processed commodities. Based upon research concerning malnutrition and diabetes conducted in indigenous Guatemala, this paper demonstrates a correlation between trade, neoliberalisation, urbanisation and the dramatic growth of NCDs in low-income populations. Thereby, world trade in unhealthy food commodities will be critically examined in terms of health ethics and policy making.

 

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