The trend towards fast food in emerging Asian markets is putting entire populations at risk. This trend is occurring in nations that never used to worry about diet-related disease, so experts around the world are sounding the alarm. Rich in meat—and laden with saturated fat, cholesterol, and artificial chemicals—the greasy and salty food typical of fast foods causes people to get fat and sick.
The traditional Asian diet receives a lot of attention in the United States because many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, are not as prevalent in Asia compared with the Western Hemisphere. Researchers believe that the traditional Asian diet provides protection against many chronic diseases and contributes to long life spans because it is mainly a plant-based diet consisting of locally grown staple grains, starchy roots, legumes, and other vegetables and fruits. Meat is treated as a side dish rather than the main course.