Malnutrition plagues the world, says Global Nutrition Report
The Global Nutrition Report, 2016, that launched today affirmed that one in every three people is affected by malnutrition. According to Lawrence Haddad, co-chair of the report and senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, said, "We now live in a world where being malnourished is the new normal". This report warns of the overwhelming human and economic toll of ill-health.
The Global Nutrition Report
The Global Nutrition Report is produced by an independent expert group and supervised by the International Food Policy Research Institute. It is the only independent yearly audit of the world's nutrition, reflecting each country's successes and failures at fulfilling inter-governmental nutrition targets. Documenting the level of progress made by countries on commitments, it advocates measures to accelerate the same.
The International evil
Malnutrition has plagued the world and now affects 1/3rd of the entire human race. It appears in various forms - under-growth of a child, skinny individuals, individuals vulnerable to infections, those that are overweight/undernourished, whose blood contains excess salt/sugar/fat/cholesterol, individuals having vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Combined with poor diet, malnutrition can be held accountable for the worldwide burden of diseases.
Ill-effects of Malnutrition
The consequences of malnutrition are a country-wide phenomenon, irrespective of who is suffering and who isn't. In America, healthcare expenditure of a household increases by 8% when one member of the family is obese. Diagnosis of diabetes in China leads to a 16.3% loss in annual income of the sufferer. Patients in India diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases spend 30% of their income on healthcare.
Losses from Malnutrition
Low weight, poor child growth, and micronutrient deficiencies in countries reflect average 11% GDP losses in Asia and Africa— greater than the loss experienced during the 2008–2010 financial crisis
Key Findings of the report
Twenty countries of the world face serious levels of malnutrition, diet-related anemia and obesity. Donors' allocations to nutrition development are stagnating at $1 billion, with only 2% of expenditure being allocated to curb undernutrition. Findings of the report show that the power and status of a woman are important drivers of malnutrition. Globally, 1 in 12 people have diabetes, 2 billion people are overweight.
Progress is achievable
The report also picks out that the number of stunted children under the age of 5 is decreasing globally except Africa and Oceania. Stunting rates in Ghana have gone down to 19% from 36% in a decade. Peru and Malawi are closely approaching targets on breastfeeding and reducing anemia. Lawrence Haddad said, "Despite the challenges, malnutrition is not inevitable".
Inequality in expenditure
The report found that 24 low and middle-income governments allocate just 2.1% of their expenditure to curb undernutrition, whereas a total of more than 30% is spent on agriculture, education, health, and social protection.
India's statistics in the GNR
In the last decade, India has doubled it's speed with regards to stunting reduction. The increase in overweight people, specifically those prone to diabetes, are a concern for India. The number of Indians diagnosed with diabetes soared from 32 million in 2000 to 63 million in 2013. With prevailing undernutrition, the growing threat of overnutrition and diabetes has put the country in double jeopardy.