Obesity and poor nutrition costs world economy $1.4 trillion: FAO

As per the latest report of the Rome based U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), obesity and poor nutrition cost dearly for the global economy and suggested the governments that investing in food health would bring big economic as well as social returns.
As per the report:

  • World economy incurs loss of around $1.4 trillion a year on the account of lost productivity and spiralling health care bills linked to obesity.
  • 12.5 % of the world’s population — or 868 million people — are still undernourished, while 26% of children are stunted by malnutrition.
  • Low and middle-income countries are witnessing rapid rise in obesity cases, Mexico is the country with highest rates of obesity in the world.
  • Some 1.4 billion people in the world are now overweight and a third of them are obese.
  • Some countries have both under-nourishment and obesity problems.
  • The costs of undernutrition are estimated at two-three percent of global GDP, equivalent to $1.4 to $2.1 trillion per year.

What are the possible Solutions ?
Governments across the world can enhance nutritional outlook by investing in better agricultural policies on nutrition include changes in production, with micronutrient fertilisers, bio-fortified crops and crop and livestock diversification. They must encourage dietary diversity and promote agricultural systems which are not oriented solely to production of cereals but also giving equal importance to other nutrient-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and eggs. Investing in the reduction of micronutrient deficiencies, for example, would result in better health, fewer child deaths and increased future earnings. Improving nutrition would boost earnings, “with a benefit-to-cost ratio of almost 13 to 1”.



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