Hunger and malnutrition in the world
Food (and water) is fuel for the body. Our muscles need this fuel to function. Without food for a couple of days, the body will convert all fats stored in the body to energy for use. If this condition is prolonged, the body begins to reduce its’ activities naturally, and the result is the slow response, low activity and slow reaction that you see in starving people. The body has run out of energy and cannot work.
Every now and again, you see fund-raising adverts, news and other stories on TV, newspapers and internet with extremely skinny children, together with their skinny mothers. Those are very difficult images to ignore, but they are real. In many places in the world, there are families who cannot even bring themselves to think, talk, walk or even sleep because there is simply no energy in their bodies to do so.
Food energy is measured in kilocalories, and it is recommended that the average person needs about 2,200Kilocalories each day to live a healthy life. Extra energy is needed during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Source: World Food Programme
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing countries. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries
It is very easy to think that people who are hungry in these countries are just lazy and hunger is the only result they deserve. That is not the case. It is just difficult for individuals to help themselves, especially if they are caught up in the usual conflicts, extreme climates, political or economic difficulties involved.
Undernourishment or Chronic Hunger
A state, lasting for at least one year, of the inability to acquire enough food, defined as a level of food intake insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements.
In this lesson, we shall look at what causes this extreme lack of food situation, and if there is anything we can do about it.