This is why obesity is classified as a type of malnutrition


(Christopher Flowers, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Briony Harris, Senior Writer, Formative Content

The word ‘malnutrition’ conjures up images of painfully thin children with protruding ribs and swollen bellies.

And many children – especially in war-torn countries such as Yemen – are living on the brink of famine, despite Zero Hunger being one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN says 10 million Yemenis are ‘one step away from famine’.
Image: Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

But the World Health Organization’s definition of malnutrition is significantly broader than having an insufficient food supply. That’s because overeating – or consuming the wrong types of food – is equally damaging to human health.

This was highlighted recently when a British teenager went blind after subsisting on a diet of chips, crisps, white bread and processed meat.

Although he was not underweight, a critical lack of vitamins and nutrients severely damaged his eyesight.

Every country is fighting malnutrition

The impact of eating too much, too little, or the wrong types of food was summed up in the latest Global Nutrition Report, which found that poor diets account for nearly one-in-five deaths.

It also stressed that almost every country is battling some form of malnutrition, whether it’s anemic children, women who are overweight but undernourished or rising obesity among teenagers.

Hunger still affects more than 800 million people around the world.
Image: Statista

The WHO has found that being overweight or obese is now linked to more deaths worldwide than being underweight, a result of associated heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.

The WHO now has three main categories of malnutrition:

  • Undernutrition
  • Micronutrient-related malnutrition
  • Overweight and obesity

Obesity is a growing problem in every region of the world.
Image: Our World in Data

Shaping the global agenda

World hunger has risen for the third year in a row. But world obesity has tripled since 1975.

And there are more people who are obese than underweight in every region of the world, with the exception of parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

The World Economic Forum has created a Global Future Council on Food Systems Innovation to address some of the challenges relating to food, including introducing better diets.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Future of our planet hinges on action by today’s youth – UN deputy chief

European Parliament calls for repeal of new Texas abortion restriction

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

Germany hides its own banks’ problems

Corporate tax remains a key revenue source, despite falling rates worldwide

Commission proposes coordinated measures for the safe reopening of the cultural and creative sectors

Main messages from the Tripartite Social Summit

India 2020: second worst hit country in the world

This is how the world can get routine vaccinations back on track

Welcome to the COVID-19 era of world sport

No agreement in sight on EU budget

Banks launch green charter to help shipping reduce its carbon footprint

Hydrogen power is here to stay. How do we convince the public that it’s safe?

“Private” sea freight indexes hide Libor like skeletons?

4 ways to build businesses that work for good, right now

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

Human rights: breaches in Russia, the Rakhine State and Bahrain

The future of global trade – in 7 charts

A Year in China

MEPs urge UK to break current deadlock

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

11 ways to align global economic governance with green new deal

We can make sure Globalization 4.0 leaves no one behind. This is how

5G will drive Industry 4.0 in the Middle East and Africa

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

5 ways you can protect insects if you live in a city

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

3 strategies for Africa to thrive in this new era of globalization

UNIDO promotes post-harvest excellence for mangoes in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

3 tech design principles to help curb digital repression

“Support Science, Reject Politics”, a Sting Exclusive written by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Syria: ‘Deplorable’ violence in Idlib against civilians, humanitarian workers must ‘stop immediately’: UN Coordinator

Organizations can get reskilling right. This McKinsey survey shows how

What Europe’s SMEs need to do for a cyber-secure future

6 charts that show how Japan’s economy stacks up as it enters a new era

State aid: Commission approves €20 billion Spanish guarantee schemes for companies and self-employed affected by coronavirus outbreak

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

Nearly 5 million children in need due to rising violence in central Sahel: UNICEF

“Financial crisis will not happen in China!”, the Chinese Premier underlines from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

UN working to prevent attacks on civilians in eastern DR Congo

How to solve COVID’s crew change crisis and protect global supply chains

US-North Korea summit in Singapore ‘a promising development’ says Guterres

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission decides to register ‘ReturnthePlastics’ initiative on plastic bottle recycling

Family incomes stagnate in the EU; people excluded from ‘moderate recovery’

Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get ahead

Coronavirus: Commission and European Investment Fund (part of EIB Group) unlock €8 billion in finance for 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses

Why 2021 is the year to highlight how critical water sources are for the climate

Europeans are living beyond Earth’s means

These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019

Why hydrogen will remain a carbon-intensive solution until we can produce it cleanly

Guterres holds ‘focused and frank’ informal discussions over future of Cyprus

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: