Poster Topical Area: Global Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 608

P12-137 - Disparities in health and nutrition problems among countries targeted by China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: In 2015, China launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt), a trade and infrastructure network to promote international collaboration including research, education and culture/people exchange. We compared health burden and nutrition-related factors among countries along the BRI, to help understand health needs and facilitate future collaboration.

Data from 1975 to 2016were collected from the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations, and World Bank databases for 71 countries. We used regression models to test associations among selected factors.

There were large variations and shifts over time in patterns of health and nutrition indicators in these countries. During 2000–2014, life expectancy increased in almost all countries (on average by 3·9 years) except for Iraq and Syria. Life expectancy was positively associated with gross domestic product per capita. We noted large variations and shifts over time in nutrition related problems in the countries. The prevalence and time trends of obesity/overweight (OW) and supply (amount/per capita) of food, fat and protein in these countries varied remarkedly. OW rate had increased during 1975-2016 in almost all the countries, but at different rates. In 2016, Ethiopia's men and Vietnam's women had the lowest OW rate, 13.4% and 20.5%, respectively. Kuwait had the highest rate in men and women, 72.4% and 75.1%. In 1975, Vietnamese men and Bangladesh's women had the lowest rate, 3.6% and 5.3%; and Israel's men and Kuwait's women had the highest rate, 47.7% and 59.3%. Regarding food supply (kcal/capita/day), in both 1993 and 2013, Turkey had the highest (=3729 and 3706), while Ethiopia had the lowest (=1508) in 1993 and Afghanistan had the lowest (2090) in 2013. Regarding protein supply (g/capital/day), Israel had the highest in 1993 and 2013 at 113.32 and 128.1; while Ethiopia had the lowest at 42.33 in 1993; and Bangladesh had the lowest with 55.84 in 2013.

Large variations existed in nutrition-related problems like obesity and food supply across BR countries. This provides a good opportunity to study the impact of social, environmental, and economic factors on health and nutrition outcomes.

Funding Source: Chinese Medical Board (CMB 16-262) and Xi'an Jiaotong University.

CoAuthors: Ruhai Bai – Global Health Institute, School of Public Health, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center; Liang Wang – East Tennessee State University; Xiaomin Sun – Global Health Institute, School of Public Health, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center; Youfa Wang – Ball State University

Yaling Zhao

Associate Professor
Global Health Institute, School of Public Health, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center
Shaanxi Sheng, Shaanxi, China (People's Republic)