There are 1.2
Billion undernourished people in the world today. That means one in nearly seven
people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and
malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide - greater
than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
They are distributed like this:
scarcity, best describes the world's food supply. Enough wheat, rice and other
grains are produced to provide every human being with 3,500 calories a day. That
doesn't even count many other commonly eaten foods-vegetables, beans, nuts, root
crops, fruits, grass-fed meats, and fish. Enough food is available to provide at
least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day worldwide: two and half pounds of
grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly
another pound of meat, milk and eggs-enough to make most people fat! The problem
is that many people are too poor to buy readily available food.
Food is always
available for those who can afford it - starvation during hard times hits only
the poorest. Millions live on the brink of disaster in south Asia, Africa and
elsewhere, because they are deprived of land by a powerful few, trapped in the
unremitting grip of debt, or miserably paid.
nutrition-related terms and definitions
is the body's way of signaling that it is running short of food and needs to
eat something. Hunger can lead to malnutrition
the status of people whose food intake does not include enough calories
(energy) to meet minimum physiological needs.The term is a measure of a
country's ability to gain access to food and is normally derived from Food
Balance Sheets prepared by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
defined as a state in which the physical function of an individual is
impaired to the point where he or she can no longer maintain natural bodily
capacities such as growth, pregnancy, lactation, learning abilities,
physical work and resisting and recovering from disease.The term covers a
range of problems from being dangerously thin (see Underweight) or too short
(see Stunting) for one's age to being deficient in vitamins and minerals or
being too fat (obese). Malnutrition
is measured not by how much food is eaten but by physical measurements of
the body - weight or height - and age (see Stunting, Wasting, Underweight)
shortness-for-age; an indicator of chronic malnutrition and calculated by
comparing the height-for-age of a child with a reference population of well
nourished and healthy children. According
to the Food and Agriculture Organization's 2004 report on Food Insecurity,
almost one third of all children are stunted
reflects a recent and severe process that has led to substantial weight
loss, usually associated with starvation and/or disease. Calculated by
comparing weight-for-height of a child with a reference population of well
nourished and healthy children. Often used to assess the severity of
emergencies because it is strongly related to mortality
measured by comparing the weight-for-age of a child with a reference
population of well nourished and healthy children.
25,000 people (adults and
children) die every day from hunger and related causes;
963 million people do not have
enough to eat - more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European
The number of undernourished
people in the world increased by 75 million in 2007 and 40 million, largely
due to higher food prices;
907 million people in
developing countries alone are hungry;
Asia and the Pacific region is
home to over half the world's population and nearly two thirds of the
world's hungry people;
More than 60 percent of
chronically hungry people are women;
65 percent of the
world's hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
Every six seconds a child dies
because of hunger and related causes;
More than 70 percent of the
world's 146 million underweight children under age five years live in just
10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone;
10.9 million children under
five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related
diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths;
The cost of undernutrition to
national economic development is estimated at US$20-30 billion per annum;
One out of four children -
roughly 146 million - in developing countries are underweight;
WFP provided school meals
and/or take home rations to 19.3 million children in 70 countries in 2007;
It is estimated that 684,000
lives child deaths worldwide could be prevented by increasing access to
vitamin A and zinc
Undernutrition contributes to
53 percent of the 9.7 million deaths of children under five each year in
developing countries. This means that one child dies every six seconds from
malnutrition and related causes.
Lack of Vitamin A kills a
million infants a year
Iron deficiency is the most
prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion
people.6 Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity
levels by as much as 20 percent.
Iron deficiency is impairing
the mental development of 40-60 percent children in developing countries
Vitamin A deficiency affects
approximately 25 percent of the developing world's pre-schoolers. It is
associated with blindness, susceptibility to disease and higher mortality
rates. It leads to the death of approximately 1-3 million children each
Iodine deficiency is the
greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage. Worldwide, 1.9
billion people are at risk of iodine deficiency, which can easily be
prevented by adding iodine to salt
reached 10 million children in 2007
is enough food in the world to feed everyone.
Yet, malnutrition and hunger still afflict one out of every seven people on
earth. Why does hunger exist?
Natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and long periods of drought
are on the increase -- with calamitous consequences for food security in poor,
developing countries. Drought is now the single most common cause of food
shortages in the world. In 2006, recurrent drought caused crop failures and
heavy livestock losses in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. In many
countries, climate change is exacerbating already adverse natural conditions.
For example, poor farmers in Ethiopia or Guatemala traditionally deal with rain
failure by selling off livestock to cover their losses and pay for food. But
successive years of drought, increasingly common in the Horn of Africa and
Central America, are exhausting their resources.
Since 1992, the proportion of
short and long-term food crises that can be attributed to human causes has more
than doubled, rising from 15 percent to more than 35 percent. All too often,
these emergencies are triggered by conflict.
From Asia to Africa to Latin
America, fighting displaces millions of people from their homes, leading to some
of the world's worst hunger emergencies. Since 2004, conflict in the Darfur
region of Sudan has uprooted more than a million people, precipitating a major
food crisis -- in an area that had generally enjoyed good rains and crops.
In war, food sometimes becomes a
weapon. Soldiers will starve opponents into submission by seizing or destroying
food and livestock and systematically wrecking local markets. Fields and water
wells are often mined or contaminated, forcing farmers to abandon their land.
When conflict threw Central
Africa into confusion in the 1990s, the proportion of hungry people rose from 53
percent to 58 percent. By comparision, malnutrition is on the retreat in more
peaceful parts of Africa such as Ghana and Malawi.
In developing countries, farmers
often cannot afford seed to plant the crops that would provide for their
families. Craftsmen lack the means to pay for the tools to ply their trade.
Others have no land or water or education to lay the foundations for a secure
The poverty-stricken do not have
enough money to buy or produce enough food for themselves and their families.
In turn, they tend to be weaker
and cannot produce enough to buy more food.
In short, the poor are hungry and
their hunger traps them in poverty.
In the long-term, improved
agricultural output offers the quickest fix for poverty and hunger.
According to the Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2004 Food Insecurity Report, all the countries
that are on track to reach the first Millennium Development Goal have something
in common -- significantly better than average agricultural growth.
Yet too many developing countries
lack key agricultural infrastructure, such as enough roads, warehouses and
irrigation. The results are high transport costs, lack of storage facilities and
unreliable water supplies.
All conspire to limit
agricultural yields and access to food.
But, although the majority of developing countries depend on agriculture, their
governments economic planning often emphasises urban development.
Poor farming practices,
deforestation, overcropping and overgrazing are exhausting the Earth's fertility
and spreading the roots of hunger.
Increasingly, the world's fertile
farmland is under threat from erosion, salination and desertification.
as there is no single cause of hunger, there is no single solution. Aid
organizations around the world try to prevent and alleviate hunger in a variety
of ways, including:
people from famine by giving food to them in emergencies;
poverty by helping poor people find and hold jobs or training them for jobs
where they can make money;
information to people about the necessity of a well-balanced diet;
farming more productive so that there will be more food for the world's
The undernourished have an average deficit
of more than 300 kilocalories per person per day
largest number of people who suffer nutritional deficiencies live in
Asia and the Pacific region, where poverty, unsafe water and poor
sanitation contribute to poor health
the Asia and Pacific region 525 million or 17% of the total population
of 3 billion suffer from under-nourishment and the worst hit countries
are North Korea, Mongolia, Cambodia and Bangladesh. In addition, there
are millions of drought-affected people in Tajikistan, Pakistan, Iran,
Armenia and Georgia
the worst conditions continue to be, largely, in Africa. One out of
every three people in Sub-Sahara Africa is undernourished. High
government debt burdens, inadequate funding for health and education,
pervasive poverty, poor agricultural productivity, weak public
institutionsand the AIDS pandemic all are major causes.
Sub-Sahara Africa 180 million or 33% of the total population of 539
million suffer from under-nourishment and the worst hit countries
include Angola, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia
the Near East and North Africa, 33 million or 9% of the total population
of 360 million suffer from under-nourishment and the worst hit country
the Latin America and Caribbean region, 53 million or 11% of the total
population of 481 million suffer from under-nourishment and the worst
hit countries are Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Honduras.
countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe undergoing the
transition from centrally-planned to market-based economies have
experienced economic hardship and rising levels of under-nutrition
during the last decade
persists in the U.S.
people - including 13.9 million children - live in households that
experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one
in ten households in the United States (11.9 percent). This is an
increase of 1.9 million, from 36.3, million in 2003.
3.9 percent of U.S.
households experience hunger. Some people in these households frequently
skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole
day. 10.7 million people, including 545 thousand
children, live in these homes.
8.0 percent of U.S.
households are at risk of hunger. Members of these households have lower
quality diets or must resort to seeking emergency food because they
cannot always afford the food they need. 27.5 million people, including
10.6 million children, live in these homes.
Research shows that
preschool and school-aged children who experience severe hunger have
higher levels of chronic illness, anxiety and depression, and behavior
problems than children with no hunger
Food Insecurity by
Household Type in the U.S.
The prevalence of food insecurity varied considerably among household types.
Some groups with rates of food insecurity much higher than the national average
(11.1 percent) were:
*Households with incomes below
the official poverty line - $21,027 for a family of four in 2007 - (37.7
*Households with children, headed by a single woman (30.2 percent).
*Black households (22.2 percent).
*Hispanic households (20.1 percent).
Food insecure - At
times during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to
acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had
insufficient money or other resources for food. Food-insecure households include
those with low food security and very low food security.
11.1 percent (13.0 million) of
U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2007.
Essentially unchanged from
10.9 percent in 2006.
Low food security - These
food-insecure households obtained enough food to avoid substantially disrupting
their eating patterns or reducing food intake by using a variety of coping
strategies, such as eating less varied diets, participating in Federal food
assistance programs, or getting emergency food from community food pantries.
7.0 percent (8.3 million) of
U.S. households had low food security in 2007.
Essentially unchanged from 6.9
percent in 2006.
Very low food security - In
these food-insecure households, normal eating patterns of one or more household
members were disrupted and food intake was reduced at times during the year
because they had insufficient money or other resources for food. In previous
reports, these households were described as "food insecure with
4.1 percent (4.7 million) of
U.S. households had very low food security at some time during 2007.
Essentially unchanged from 4.0
percent in 2006.
The defining characteristic of
very low food security is that, at times during the year, the food intake of
household members is reduced and their normal eating patterns are disrupted
because the household lacks money and other resources for food. Very low food
security can be characterized in terms of the conditions that households in this
category typically report in the annual food security survey.
June 21, 2009 -Kellogg
Company today announced a transformational partnership with Katalyst, a
studio for social media co-founded by Ashton Kutcher (www.twitter.com/aplusk)
and Jason Goldberg. The partnership will raise awareness of the growing
hunger epidemic in the United States and encourage consumers to donate to
Feeding America, the nations leading hunger relief organization, at the
KelloggCares FacebookŪ Page at www.facebook.com/kelloggcares. Recent
reports show that one in eight Americans is struggling with hunger, and
food banks across the country are challenged to keep up with rising
As part of its ongoing
commitment to fight hunger, Kellogg teamed up with Katalyst to spotlight
the issue through a new online video, directed by Demi Moore (www.twitter.com/mrskutcher).
The video can be found on the KelloggCares Facebook Page at
www.facebook.com/kelloggcares. It features user-generated content
submitted by consumers moved to end hunger following requests that @aplusk
(Ashton Kutcher) and @mrskutcher (Demi Moore) posted on their respective
Twitter feeds and Facebook Pages.