Malnourishment affects one in three people worldwide and is linked to 45% of deaths among children under the age of five, according to a report on global nutrition that warns the “staggering” scale of the condition could undermine the sustainable development agenda without greater investment from governments and donors.
The 2015 global nutrition report sought to provide a detailed snapshot of the full range of nutrition problems worldwide. It found that 1.9 billion adults are either overweight or obese; 794 million people do not get enough calories; 161 million children under five years old are too short for their age; 51 million children do not weigh enough for their height; and 42 million children are overweight. Nearly half of all deaths of children under five are still related to malnutrition (either lacking sufficient calories or overweight).
“Too often people think of malnutrition as just a problem of hungry kids in the poorest countries, but this report shows that malnutrition has many forms and affects all countries, rich and poor alike,” said Dr Corinna Hawkes, co-author of the report.
However, progress has been made, notably on stunting, which occurs when children are too short for their age. The number of countries on track to reach a World Health Assembly target to reduce stunting by 40% by 2025 rose to 39 out of 100 from 24 last year, the report said.
Global nutrition study claims poor diet affects 161 million children and 1.9 billion adults and calls for more indicators in sustainable development goals