Healthy Plate, Healthy Planet

Good News Notes:

“Frank Hu and Kentucky Fried Chicken arrived in Beijing around the same time. Hu, a recent graduate of Tongji Medical University, in Wuhan, had never seen a restaurant like it. Three-floored, gleaming, and distinctly Western in atmosphere, KFC proved irresistible to a country unfamiliar with the greasy efficiency of American fast food. On a frigid day in November 1987, thousands waited two hours in line to be among the first Chinese citizens to try the Colonel’s crispy drumsticks and gravy-doused mashed potatoes.

A few decades later, China’s first KFC remains open, a few blocks from Tiananmen Square. At first it stood alone. By 2007, KFCs were popping up around the country at a rate of one per day. Now there are nearly 6,000 KFCs, 3,000 McDonalds, and thousands more Pizza Huts, Burger Kings, and Dunkin’ Donuts.

In 1980, seven years before that first KFC, the prevalence of Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes in China was less than 1 percent of the population. In 2001, that had risen to 5.5 percent. Now, with an estimated 116 million diabetics in the country, the number is 12 percent—and still rising.”

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