China has shifted its dietary patterns because of economic change. As people have more money to spend they buy more processed food which tends to be energy-dense and nutrient-poor. There are substantial differences in dietary patterns between urban and rural populations. Rural residents tend to maintain the basic traditional diet. while urban and richer rural residents tend to consume more high-fat food and processed sugar-based foods. If no action is taken to intervene or guide people's food consumption behavior: consumption of cereals, sugar and vegetables will decline; poultry consumption will increase; and the demand for beef, mutton, eggs and milk will increase. An analysis of food consumption in Shanghai during 1950-1982 revealed the mortality rate of heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer were positively correlated with meat, egg and sugar consumption and negatively correlated with cereal consumption. The projections for chronic disease based on demographic change, risk factor and disease estimations indicate that by the year 2030 in China, there will be annually 800,000 deaths by coronary heart disease, 3 million from strokes and 1.7 million due to lung cancer. These figures call for the government and public to take timely actions to avoid over-consumption of animal foods. Although disease pattern change is related to a series of factors, the role nutrition plays in health promotion and disease prevention should not be underestimated.