Every 9th person in the world went hungry last year: UN report

Around 700 million were exposed to severe food insecurity in 2018

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 16 July 2019

More than 820 million people in the world — every one in nine person — were hungry in 2018, according to United Nation report. Around 700 million faced severe food insecurity the same year, added the report titled The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.

After studying hunger and malnutrition data from 2017 and 2018, the UN report linked food insecurity to hunger, malnutrition and obesity in the world.

Food insecurity can be described as lack of regular access to nutritious and sufficient food. It has two levels: moderate and severe.

In a state of moderate food insecurity, people face uncertainties in terms of access to food, availability of food and, in some cases, they are forced to reduce quantity of food consumed and compromise on quality.

In cases of severe food insecurity, people run out of food stocks and experience hunger. For example, people can feel physical discomfort owing to severe lack of dietary energy, may be food insecure and not hungry.

Food security is also a reason for obesity, apart from hunger and malnutrition. When nutritious food is expensive, people fulfill their calorie needs by substituting it with cheaper food, which is generally high in fat and sugar. This leads to obesity.

The quality of food is as important as its quantity. Quality depends on the food’s nutrition status. More than two billion people around the world do not have access to safe and nutritious food, which leads to food-borne illnesses.

Gender gap is also observed in the food insecurity calculations. "In every continent, the prevalence of food insecurity is slightly higher among women than men, with the largest differences found in Latin America,” according to the UN report.

Another factor is economic status. Low-income countries face about 20 per cent more food insecurity when compared with middle-income countries.

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