On average, nations with higher rates of undernourishment also have lower prevalences of people who are overweight or obese. But, this intuitive correlation exists only on the average. Real-world data shows large deviations across countries from this trend. Many developing countries with relatively high levels of undernourishment also have high rates of overweight and obesity at the same time. For example:
What factors lead populations to develop such striking contrasts in the nutritional welfare of their citizens? Contributing factors include the following:
Income inequality. Large income inequality between populations in the developing world contributes to this phenomenon. Segregation can reach very high levels even between adjacent income groups, so while lower-middle and middle-income classes rapidly increase food consumption, people in the lowest income brackets starve.
Industrialization of the food supply. A second less obvious factor is also in play: increased urbanization, westernization, and a shift to cheaper industrially-processed foods have undercut the effectiveness of famine-averting initiatives. Striving to bring a rapid end to hunger, governments, and international organizations flood markets with cheap, highly processed and energy-dense food, such as white rice, flour, canned foods, processed meats, and sugar-rich soft drinks.
Social and cultural shifts. Special aspects in the growth of obesity among middle-aged and older women associated with changing lifestyles, cultural differences and the quality of the maternal healthcare have also played a role in this tension between obesity and malnutrition in some populations. In the developed world, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in adult males is significantly higher than in females. In contrast, in developing countries, especially in Africa, the trend is reversed and rates of obesity among females are much higher than among males. You can observe this phenomenon in the map below.
Source note: Data on the prevalence of overweight and obesity worldwide was obtained from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in adults aged 18 years and over is categorized as a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m² (BMI ≥30 =obese); in children, the classification is based on the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) definition. Comparable estimates based on systematically identified surveys, reports, and published studies that include data for height and weight, both through physical measurements and self-reports, use mixed effects linear regression to correct for bias in self-reports.
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Due to many reasons people all over the world have different composition of their daily diet. Here we suggest you to look at how the composition of daily diet varies across different countries with the change of per capita income. People in high income countries consume more vegetable oils, sugar and sweeteners, milk and meat. With the decrease of income among countries, consumption of cereals accounts for bigger share of daily diet. People living at extreme poverty level consume much more starchy roots. Name of each country on the chart below is followed by value of gross national income (GNI) per capita in current US$ for 2013 (source:...
World Food Day is annually held on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the United Nations' (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Each year has a different theme. World Food Day is a global observance and not a public holiday. World Food Day is a day of action against hunger. On October 16, people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero. Across the globe, many different events are organized to raise awareness of problems in food supply and distribution and to raise money to support projects...
Food is a basic human need. And we tried to estimate how much do people pay for food in different countries. It appeared that food availability significantly varies across countries. In general, price of 1000 Kcal goes up inline with per capita income. For example, in Greece, Belarus, Croatia, Japan and Macedonia people pay $2.8 (based on PPP) for 1000 Kcal. At the same time in Nigeria, Uzbekistan, China India and Kenya the price of 1000 kcal is less then $0.7. It is interesting, that the U.S. citizens pay for food noticably less compared to other developed and many developing countries.
People in Uzbekistan, India, Nigeria, Kenya, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bolivia, China, Cameroon spend on food from 10 to 5 times less US dollars per capita compared to USA.