Nearly half of the world’s population has poor eating habits, according to the annual Global Nutrition Report (GNR). According to the report, 48 percent of the population eats too much or too little, with the result that too many people worldwide are still overweight, obese or underweight.
The report just published was compiled with data from the United Nations (UN), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. At the current pace, the world will fail to meet eight of the WHO’s nine nutritional targets by 2025. That is worrying. “Our eating habits have not improved in the last decade and now pose a major threat to our health and to the planet,” the report’s authors said.
The report shows that about 150 million children are not growing enough and more than 45 million are too skinny for their height due to lack of nutrients. 40 million children are said to be overweight. More than 40 percent (2.2 billion people) of the adult population are said to be overweight or obese. Those numbers should fall, according to the WHO.
Poor nutritional conditions now account for a quarter of all adult deaths
Less healthy foods
The number of preventable deaths from poor eating habits has increased by 15 percent since 2010. Poor nutritional conditions now account for a quarter of all adult deaths,” said Renata Micha, chair of the GNR expert group. People are consuming less and less healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables, especially in lower-income countries.
Overweight is especially common in rich countries, because too many unhealthy foods such as red meat, dairy products and sugary drinks are consumed there. Eating habits have to change there, the report says. According to the GNR, this would also benefit CO2 emissions. In 2018, food production was responsible for 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less meat and fewer dairy products can especially help.
3.55 billion euros
The report calls for urgent funding to improve global nutritional conditions, especially as the coronavirus pandemic is still raging. For example, it is estimated that 155 million people have been placed in extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic. Countries where few nutrients are available must receive help so that fruit and vegetables are also available there. To achieve the minimum goals, at least 4 billion dollars (3.55 billion euros) is needed, the report states.
Overweight in the Netherlands
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