Global malnutrition costs `unacceptably high`: UN

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 23:44

London: Malnutrition problems cost the world 3.5 trillion dollars, where 500 dollars are spent on every person for improving health and avoiding lost productivity, according to the United Nations (UN).

The UN report said that malnutrition, including obesity and under-nourishment problems have been raised to `unacceptably high` levels.

Stating that presently a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted, the U.N. has called for a concerted global campaign to cut food waste.

Director general of the UN`s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Graziano da Silva has said that malnutrition in all its forms costs the society in both human and economic terms, adding that complete eradication of hunger and malnutrition is the need of the hour.

The FAO also stated that the cost of micronutrient deficiencies such as the deficiency of Vitamin A that causes night blindness is estimated at 2 to 3 per cent of global economic output that comes to be around 1.4 to 2.1 trillion dollars annually.

The increased risk of a heart attack which might result from obesity problems is estimated to cost about 1.4trillion dollars a year, suggesting that the total cost of malnutrition is as much as 3.5 trillion dollars per year.

The UN report urges for drastic improvement in agricultural yields of staples such as maize, rich and wheat as well as nutrient-rich foods such as peas, beans, meat, milk, vegetables and fruit to curb malnutrition issues.

The report has come a day after MPs said that the British people should eat less meat and food producers should be penalized for wasting food, warning that the UK is `never more than a few days away` from a food shortage.

ANI



First Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 23:44

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