Although some countries have made recent gains, malnutrition in its various forms remains widely present
globally and the number of people affected stays stubbornly high. For example, more than 2 billion people suffer a serious lack of vitamins and minerals and more than 200 million children are stunted or wasted. At the same time, 1.4 billion people are now overweight or obese, including in low and middle income countries. Just as with undernutrition, obesity is in part related to poor quality diets, as are food-related non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The costs associated with child undernutrition alone are huge, averaging 8% of annual gross domestic product (GDP) across developing countries, with a range from 3% of GDP per annum in a country like Swaziland to more than 16% of GDP in Ethiopia.
This output is funded under the Department for International Developments Global Panel on Agriculture & Food Systems for Nutrition Programme
Global Panel (2014), How Can Agriculture & Food System Policies improve Nutrition?, Technical Brief No. 1, London: Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, 20pp
Published 1 November 2014