Malnutrition a serious challenge: WEF report

Over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, which can lead to diseases and development challenges

GN Bureau | January 20, 2017


#WEF   #micronutrient deficiency   #malnutrition   #undernourishment   #health   #food security  


The triple burden of malnutrition – undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies and over-nutrition – presents serious challenges and has the potential to worsen. Nearly 800 million people are hungry and, although significant progress has been made, this remains a challenge particularly in developing countries, said a World Economic Forum (WEF) report.
 
Over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, which can lead to diseases and development challenges, such as stunting, added the report by WEF’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Food Security and Agriculture Prepared in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting LLP.
 
 
The report said that over 2 billion adults are overweight or obese. Poor nutrition and health habits can lead to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are now the leading cause of death in all regions except Africa. The economic burden and costs of NCDs radiate through households in the form of lower wages and savings. These strain health and welfare systems, impacting business and the economic growth of countries.
 
 
The aspiration for inclusive, sustainable, efficient, healthy and nutritious food systems will not be easy to achieve. A number of major global trends will pose challenges and opportunities for food systems in the future.
 
Demographic shifts are increasing and changing the demand for food. The world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and the size of the global middle class is projected to increase from 1.8 billion in 2009 to 4.9 billion by 2030. The growing size of mega cities and rate of urbanisation are further compounding the strain on food systems; by 2050, over two thirds of the global population are projected to live in cities.
 
Macroeconomic trends, such as the increasing inequality of wealth and sluggish economic growth present additional challenges to food systems. Within the agricultural sector, 800 million people live below the global poverty line, representing nearly four fifths of the world’s approximately 1 billion poor people, the report said.
 
The world relies on small agriculture producers: some 500 million smallholder farms worldwide produce over 80% of the food consumed in the developing world.
 
More broadly, the richest 1% of the global population currently have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. This economic inequality is increasing, translating into slower growth and compromising social cohesion.
 
 
Geopolitical dynamics are intensifying food insecurity and other challenges. The world is currently experiencing the highest levels of displacement on record, with 65.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. At the same time, emerging political movements, evidenced by recent events and elections in the United States and Europe, are demonstrating nationalist and isolationist tendencies that may impact trade agreements and international collaboration.
 
Existing innovations and emerging technologies present opportunities to tackle these challenges, but they will raise new questions and their impacts will not be evenly distributed. In complement to existing technologies, like mobile platforms, new Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will profoundly change the way we live, work and relate to one another. Food systems will be dramatically influenced by this new era and the new tools it offers, including bio-innovation, gene editing, robotics, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
 
The report added that these innovations will continue to create unprecedented amounts of data. Indeed, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past two years and is expected to continue to grow exponentially. Such technologies depend on a world increasingly connected to the internet; while the number of internet users quadrupled from 2005 to 2015 to over 40% of the world’s population over 4 billion still don’t have access and the speed of connectivity is slowing down. Gender inequality compounds this challenge: women in rural areas are much less likely to access the internet than men in the same communities.
 
 

Comments

 

Other News

In times of Corona, think twice before forwarding soc media posts

Amid exceptional circumstances of COVID-19 outbreak and the 21-day nationwide lockdown, authorities are trying to discourage spread of rumours and misinformation through social media. Maharashtra Cyber Police came out with an advisory for WhatsApp users and admins during the COVID-19, even

Mumbai hospitals shut as more and more healthcare workers test positive

Maharashtra has emerged the epicentre of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the country with Mumbai reporting the highest number of cases in the state. With more and more healthcare providers getting infected, hospitals are becoming the hotbeds of virus perpetuation. On Monday Wockhardt hosp

As nation lighted lamps, power grid delivered

As Indians switched off lights in homes and lighted lamps and candles Sunday night following prime minister Narendra Modi’s appeal as a gesture of solidarity in the fight against COVID-19, the power grid held up well despite the sudden drop in demand. In a short video message on Friday

3 out of 4 Covid-19 patients in 21-60 yrs age group

Contrary to the perception that the elderly are more at risk from Covid-19, in India as many as 41.88% of corona positive cases are between 21 to 40 years of age. Also, 32.82% positive cases are between 41 to 60 years, followed by 16.69% cases above the age of 60 years and 8.61% coronavirus positive cases

Why everyone should wear mask

In view of the increasing number of COVID -19 cases in the country, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) has now advised that everyone must voluntarily wear a mask and especially those living in densely populated areas.   Not just as a matter of maintaining personal hygiene

Fighting Covid-19, India has realized its collective strength: PM

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, people of India have realized their collective strength, prime minister Narendra Modi said in a short video message Friday morning. He also urged people to light lamps Sunday night as a gesture of this collectivity. “Today marks nine days of the na



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter