Consumer populations and nutritional transition in Spain in the 20th century: A methodology for their reconstruction
One feature of the modern nutrition transition is the growing consumption of animal proteins. The most common approach in the quantitative analysis of this change used to be the study of averages of food consumption. But this kind of analysis seems to be incomplete without the knowledge of the number of consumers. Data about consumers are not usually published in historical statistics. This article introduces a methodological approach for reconstructing consumer populations. This methodology is based on some assumptions about the diffusion process of foodstuffs and the modeling of consumption patterns with a log-normal distribution. This estimating process is illustrated with the specific case of milk consumption in Spain between 1925 and 1981. These results fit quite well with other data and indirect sources available showing that this dietary change was a slow and late process. The reconstruction of consumer population could shed a new light in the study of nutritional transitions.
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