(Vatican Radio) Twenty six percent of all children under five are stunted, according to the annual “State of Food and Agriculture” (SOFA) report, issued by the UN’s Food and Agriculture organization.
The report “Food systems for better nutrition” notes that although some 870 million people were still hungry in the world in 2010-2012, this is just a fraction of the billions of people whose health, wellbeing and lives are blighted by malnutrition.
Two billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies, while 1.4 billion are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese, according to SOFA. Twenty six percent of all children under five are stunted and 31 percent suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.
The cost of malnutrition to the global economy in lost productivity and health care costs are “unacceptably high” and could account for as much as 5 percent of the global gross domestic product.
Making food systems enhance nutrition is a complex task requiring strong political commitment and leadership at the highest levels, broad-based partnerships and coordinated approaches with other important sectors such as health and education, according to SOFA.
“A great many actors and institutions must work together across sectors to more effectively reduce undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity,” the report says.
of the Vatican Radio website