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.
Food security is a situation in which all people of a country at any moment of time have physical and economic access to the amount of health and nutritious food enough to keep a healthy and active lifestyle. So, it is an ideal condition to which every country should continuously tend and this tendency should be the chief aim of national agricultural and economic policy. Since the policy should be based on something, measuring and collecting data on food security is the first step towards problem solution. On the present page you can find data and ready-made visualizations which may shed some light on the current progress of the countries in...
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.
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all. The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to FAO Conference. Using a multi-stakeholder, inclusive approach, CFS develops and endorses policy recommendations and guidance on a wide range of food security and nutrition topics. These are developed starting from scientific and evidence-based reports produced by the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) and/or...
The Oxford Martin School Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations is organizing a conference titled ‘Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Challenges and Prospects,' to provide a forum for academics, practitioners and government representatives to evaluate the current debate and shape of the future agenda from a human rights perspective, with a particular focus on poverty, environment, and peace and security. The event will include panels with experts on law, philosophy, political science and economics, and aims to facilitate a constructive dialogue on the topic between scholars and policy-makers. Event holder: IISD