A devastating earthquake struck west China in 2008. Reconstruction efforts have focused on urbanization and modernization, hastening economic growth in the area. This rapid growth provides a unique opportunity to explore the potential impact of rapid environmental changes on metabolic disease risk. The study objective was to gather qualitative information from residents of a rapidly changing area in China to determine perceived changes in food- and physical activity-related aspects of the environment and their perceived effects on health. We conducted extensive interviews with 30 residents of an area where towns were rapidly rebuilt after being destroyed by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Findings suggest that a longitudinal investigation of children and their families in this rapidly developing region may identify mechanisms by which environmental factors influence the development of diet-related chronic illnesses.
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