The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the gaps in the world’s food chain for those most at risk from unhealthy diets, a recent report’s writers have stated.
The annual Global Nutrition Study looks at the state of the global food system and notes major diet- and weight-related differences within and within countries.
The study does not look at the coronavirus pandemic in itself, but Renata Micha, associate professor and specialist in public health at Tufts University in the U.S. and one of its contributors, said the pandemic found that individuals who were either underweight or overweight were more likely to be seriously affected by the disease.
“Malnutrition affects our immune system and puts us at risk for infection. Bad metabolic fitness has been linked to worse coronavirus effects, such as obesity and diabetes.
“Working together to address poverty in all its ways is more important now than ever for states, corporations and civil society,” she said.
Even in rich countries like the United Kingdom, the pandemic has interrupted food production. But in developing countries, where malnutrition rates are still high. Analysts have cautioned that the pandemic could lead to a crisis of hunger.
Relation between food and coronavirus
The UN cautioned last month of “biblical proportions” malnutrition. With 265 million people facing severe food shortages. Due to a “complete storm” of violence, famine, climate change and coronavirus.
One in nine people in the world is hungry and one in three is overweight or obese. This is according to the report.
Many countries-including Africa, Asia and Latin America-are suffering double overweight and underweight burdens.
Although the percentage of underweight persons has declined since 2000, the number of overweight and obese individuals has increased. In 2000 overweight was 31.7 per cent of men and 29.7 per cent of women. Those figures had risen by 2016 to 39.2 per cent and 38.5 per cent.
And in 2000, 10.6% of men and 6.7% of women were obese-but by 2016 those numbers had increased to 15.1% and 11.1% respectively.
The study said unhealthy diets and the resultant hunger was among the “greatest global social problems”. It’s creating huge pressures on health, food, the economy and environment.