For the third consecutive year, the number of those chronically hungry has increased in Latin America and the Caribbean, while 250 million – 60 percent of the regional population - are obese or overweight, representing the biggest threat to nutritional health, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday.
Speaking at the launch of the 2018 Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security report in Santiago, Chile, FAO’s Regional Representative, Julio Berdegue said it was an “appalling” threat to health overall, affecting women and indigenous groups the most.
The Panorama, published annually by FAO, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme (WFP), explores strategies to halt the health threats posed by hunger and malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the report, hunger, malnutrition, lack of micronutrients, and obesity largely affect lower income families, women, indigenous communities, Afro-descendants and rural families.
Principle causes of malnutrition amongst the most vulnerable, can be traced back to changes the food systems have experienced in the region, from production to consumption. With a greater strain on the demand for nutrient-rich food like milk and meats, many resort to less costly options which are often higher in fat, sugar and salt.
Infographics from the 2018 FAO report:
- More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN Rights Chief
- From child refugee in Mozambique to school principal in the United States
- Rising human trafficking takes on ‘horrific dimensions’: almost a third of victims are children
- Human rights champions from across the world receive top UN prize
- UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants