Consequences of Malnutrition and Hunger
“The world produces enough food to feed everyone, but still 795 million remain chronically hungry”
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
We in the February Team 2017, are studying different topics throughout our program. One of the study periods focussed on: “Getting close to the lot of The Poor”.
Together, three of us, (Carla, Jesus and Paula) made a power point talking about the consequences of hunger and malnutrition.
Within the power point presentation we give an explanation about what malnutrition is, who suffers from malnutrition, how we can see it and how we can deal with it.
We hope that from this power point, you can gain some knowledge about malnutrition, because sometimes we can get confused about the definition.
What is Malnutrition?
- People are malnourished if their diet does not provide adequate calories and protein for growth and maintenance or they are unable to fully utilize the food they eat due to illness (under nutrition). They are also malnourished if they consume too many calories (over nutrition). (UNICEF)
- Malnutrition is a broad term commonly used as an alternative to under nutrition but technically it also refers to over nutrition.
Types of malnutrition
- Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) to contribute energy
- Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are essential for growth and physical and cognitive development
Effects On health
- People who suffer from malnutrition have fewer defenses against disease. They got sick faster and easily, and are less able to recover quickly and completely from the disease.
- Chronic malnutrition can cause growth retardation (low height for age) and emaciation (low weight for age height).
- Diets that don’t provide enough micronutrients can lead to serious illness, including anemia, mental retardation and permanent blindness.
- Both malnutrition and deficiency micronutrients may affect cognitive functioning children, preventing them from reaching their full potential in school, affecting their future employment opportunities income and thus perpetuating cycle of poverty.
- While malnutrition remains a problem in most Poor countries, global prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in all regions, going from 24 to 34 percent.
- Overweight and obesity increase the risk of disease non-communicable diseases such as:
Posing a threat to public health
Areas where malnutrition is Widespread
What are the consequences of malnutrition?
- Malnutrition affects people in every country.
- Around 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight, while 462 million are underweight. An estimated 41 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight or obese, while some 159 million are stunted and 50 million are wasted. Adding to this burden are the 528 million or 29% of women of reproductive age around the world affected by anemia, for which approximately half would be amenable to iron supplementation. (World Health Organisation)
- Many families cannot afford to access enough nutritious foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, meat and milk, while foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt are cheaper and more readily available, leading to a rapid rise in the number of children and adults who are overweight and obese, in poor as well as rich countries.
- It is quite common to find undernutrition and overweight within the same community, household or even individual – it is possible to be both overweight and micronutrient deficient, for example.
Who is suffering malnutrition
- Malnutrition affects first and foremost children under the age of two, but young children less than five years of age, adolescents, pregnant or lactating mothers, the elderly and the chronically ill (including those with HIV/AIDS and TB) are also vulnerable.
How we can see malnutrition
- failure of a child to grow or normally
- slowness in walking
- talking or thinking
- big bellies
- thin arms and legs
- lack of energy
- child is sad and does not play
- swelling of feet
- face and hands
- often with sores or marks on the skin
- or loss of hair
- or loss of its colour and shine
- poor vision at night
- dryness of eyes
- Weakness and tiredness
- Loss of appetite.
- Weakened immune system.
- Depression, irritability, anxiety, and reduced ability to maintain concentration.
- Sores in the corners of the mouth.
- Painful or sore tongue.
- ’Burning’ or numbness of feet
Causes of malnutrition in industrialized nations
- Poor diet
- Mental health problems
- People with mobility problems
- Conditions pertaining to the digestive system
- Economic problems
Causes of malnutrition in the poorer nations
- Food shortages
- Food prices and food distribution
- Lack of breastfeeding
Facts related with Malnutrition
- Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
- Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries.
- Industrialized and developing countries dissipate roughly the same quantities of food — respectively 670 and 630 million tonnes.
- Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food.
- Global quantitative food losses and waste per year are roughly 30% for cereals, 40-50% for root crops, fruits and vegetables, 20% for oil seeds, meat and dairy plus 35% for fish.
- Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).
- The cost to end world hunger…
- — $30 billion per year is needed to end world hunger
- — $737 billion per year is the amount only US Congress spends on Defense
Possible solutions to stop malnutrition
At a Global level
- Article from the Guardian
Giving a “second chance” to our waste.
- Preventing land grabbing
- Blocking the speculators
- Producing less biofuel
- Stopping the meat fast
- Supporting small farmers
- Targeting infant nutrition
- Rolling out biotech
- Reducing poverty.
At a Local level
Reducing/reusing our wasting.
Sharing with needed people/organizations.
Educating people about how to follow healthy habits.
Why not finish with hunger?
- It is not the real goal of Governments/companies.
- Once we overcome hunger, many other goals would be needed to continue with the development of the countries (healthcare, quality of education, national infrastructure…)
- Inequality, as a focal point for campaigns, allows us to accept and explain that building a better world is a slow and perennial endeavour.
You can read an article: