Jeevika Weerahewa1*, Pradeepa Korale Gedara2 and Chatura Sewwandi Wijetunga3
Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, University of Peradeniya, Sri LankaFulltext PDF
It has been widely argued that the increased prevalence of overweight and obesity in Asia is due to the nutrition transition experienced by the region. Most communities in Asian countries have moved away from the monotonous diet to one with more variety comprised of pre-processed food, added sugar and fat, and food of animal origin. The nature and degree of nutrition transition in Sri Lanka however, have not been fully diagnosed. This paper examines the historical trends in dietary patterns and presents recent statistics in relation to malnutrition, dietary diversity, over-nutrition and incidence of non-communicable diseases. Data required for the analysis were extracted from government publications and global databases. The results indicate that there is an emerging trend of people replacing vegetable based foods with animal foods to gain energy, protein and fat. However, the consumption of sugar, salt and alcohol have increased and surpassed the recommended intake posing a threat to health. Thus, it can be concluded that Sri Lanka has been slowly entering the 4th stage of nutrition which is characterized by nutrition related non-communicable diseases. Some poor rural communities though, still suffer from major and micronutrient deficiencies signifying that they are still in the stage of receding famine. The policy perspective calls for immediate attention in diet related interventions in order to prevent the country entering the 4th stage along with curtailing the prevailing under nutrition.
Weerahewa J, Gedara PK, Wijetunga CS. Nutrition Transition in Sri Lanka: A Diagnosis. Ann Nutr Food Sci. 2018; 2(2): 1020.