Global Malnutrition On The Rise: Costs $3.5 Trillion A Year, UN Confirms

By Monica U Santos , Dec 04, 2016 10:47 AM EST

Malnutrition at an early age leads to reduced physical and mental development during childhood. According to the United Nations (UN) and other experts, global malnutrition is on the rise. When it continues the world's population will be effected until 2035, that is unless if government and agents to something about it. Malnutrition doesn't only exists because of lack of food or hunger, but also from obesity.

Global Malnutrition On The Rise: Costs $3.5 trillion A Year, UN Confirms

The issue on the global malfunction affects a third of the world's population and costs the global economy an estimated $3.5 trillion a year in healthcare and lost productivity, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says. "Nutrition must be considered a public issue, a state responsibility," FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said at the International Conference on Nutrition.

FAO is an agency of the UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both all countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.

According to Markets Insider, middle income countries are increasingly seeing both forms of malnutrition, putting a heavy burden on their purse strings in years to come, experts told government representatives gathered in Rome to find ways to tackle the problem. Poor diet and lack of exercise are leading risks to health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"Business as usual will generate a catastrophic health crisis," Patrick Webb, professor of nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, told the meeting. "Tweaking at the margins won't suffice. We need a radical transformation of our food systems to nourish - not just feed - 9 billion people," Webb added.

Are You Malnourished?

When a person is not getting enough food or not getting the right of food, malnutrition is risky. A malnourished person finds that their body has difficulty doing normal things such as growing and resisting disease. Physical work becomes problematic and even learning abilities can be diminished. For women, pregnancy becomes risky and they cannot be sure of producing nourishing breast milk.

As per World Food Programme, malnutrition at an early age leads to reduced physical and mental development during childhood. Stunting, for example, affects more than 147 million pre-schoolers in developing countries, according to SCN's World Nutrition Situation 5th report. Iodine deficiency, the same report shows, is the world's greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage.


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