Obesity and Malnutrition: Poor Countries Facing Both of them

Obesity and Malnutrition: Pixabay/billycm Poor Countries Facing Both of them. Image Courtesy:
Obesity and Malnutrition: Pixabay/billycm Poor Countries Facing Both of them. Image Courtesy:

Obesity and undernutrition are the double burdens of malnutrition: A recent Lancet groundbreaking report finds malnutrition causes the double trouble of obesity and undernutrition. Also, it has now increased even in the poorer countries around the world, and eating processed food as the main cause of it. The report also finds that nearly one third or 2.3 billion people are overweight, and 150 million children have stunted growth.

Alessandro Demaio is the former CEO of the EAT-Lancet commission and one of the authors of the groundbreaking new Lancet Report. On a telephonic call, he said that the food generations shaping around the world also shape the nutrition of generations. Globalization, Commodification, and homogenization of the global food systems contribute to this new reality, is his conclusion.

Francesco Branca is the Director of Nutrition for Health and Development of WHO or world health organization. Responding to a call, he says that the quality of the processed food is mediocre. It is not enough with vitamins and minerals as this cheap food is high in fat, sugar, and salt. Its ill effects are seen across the world with mostly in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. He cited examples of countries like Botswana, Zimbabwe, Egypt, and Mongolia.

The Lancet Report has many statistics including

  • Many middle and low-income countries are now suffering from the double burden of malnutrition
  • 20 % of people are overweight, 30 % of children under four have improper growth, and 20 % of women in the world are thin due to malnourishment
  • 45 out of 123 countries were affected by both obesity and undernutrition in 1990, and 48 out of 128 are affected in 2010, out of which 14 countries of the smallest income group have developed since the 1990s

Ten potential solutions to this food crisis that relate to education, government policy reforms change in the global food system, and others are focused on this report. It also focuses on a high-quality diet as the solution to malnutrition, which causes both obesity and undernutrition. High-quality diet includes

  • The maximum quantity of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds
  • A moderate amount of animal source foods
  • A minimal amount of processed foods