Scholarship on international trade and health analyzes the effects of trade and investment policies on population exposure to non-nutritious foods1. These policies are linked to the nutrition transition, or the dietary shift towards meat and processed foods associated with rising overweight and obesity rates in low- and middle-income countries.
Overall, this literature demonstrates strong links between trade and investment liberalization and subsequent increases in non-nutritious food availability. However, the literature has not yet unpacked how these flows shape dietary outcomes for different social classes and how they contribute to reshaping social inequality.
We argue for expanding the trade and health literature’s focus on population exposure through the concept of the neoliberal diet. We adopt Otero et al.’s notion of the ‘neoliberal diet’2 in order to ask two questions. First, how are changes in trade regulation and FDI affecting population exposure to the neoliberal diet? And, second, how is exposure to the neoliberal diet shaped by class difference?