Obesity on rise in India while undernourishment declines: UN

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GENEVA: The United Nations (UN) recently released a report titled ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019’ which surveyed the nourishment levels of the global population. The report released by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), reports that over 820 million people around the globe are undernourished, which has increased from last year’s 811 million. For India, undernourishment has declined while cases of obesity have increased.

The number of undernourished people declined from 253.9 million in 2004-06 to 194.4 million in 2016-18. However, the number of adults (18 years and older) who are obese grew from 24.1 million in 2012 to 32.8 million in 2016. The number of children (under 5 years of age) who are overweight stood at 2.9 million in 2018.

The report has also indicated that income inequality is on the rise in many of the countries where mass undernourishment is prominent, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable or marginalised to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns. “We must foster pro-poor and inclusive structural transformation focusing on people and placing communities at the center to reduce economic vulnerabilities and set ourselves on track to ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition,” said the UN report.

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