In the U.S., obesity is almost an epidemic with nearly 65% of the adult population being estimated to be either overweight or obese (Hedley et al., 2004). The rapid economic and social changes that have occurred in China and other developing countries have also been associated with changes in diet, physical activity and health. Higher fat diets, and high incidence of obesity are found among lower-income and rural Chinese as well (Wang et al., 2006). Global availability of cheap vegetable oils and fats is one of the reasons for the observed increase in fat consumption among low-income nations (Drewnowski & Popkin, 1997).
Consumption of fast food is associated with higher caloric intake and the excess calories consumed will contribute to obesity, excess sodium intake, and higher saturated fat intake as well (Lin & Frazao, http://findarticles.com). The science of nutrition has changed significantly in recent years, and information on healthy eating, wrong diet and its health effects is readily available in magazine articles. People have more access to the Internet, print media, and TV for nutrition advice than before. Information on the benefits of eating low-fat foods is easily available (www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51537). Public health initiatives of government institutes also offer information on low-fat foods e.g., the Obesity Education Initiative of the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute in the U.S. (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/lcal_fat.htm). College students are also becoming health-conscious and seek advice from online sources (http://askville.amazon.com/SimilarQuestions.do?req=low-fat-easy-quick-vegetarian-cookbook-college-student). Several universities too offer healthy eating tips to students online e.g., University of Oregon (http://healthed.uoregon.edu/10tips.htm). In addition to the health benefits, it has become a fashion for many people, even