Top facts & stats on food systems and nutrition

Top facts on food systems and nutrition

Poor diet is now the number one risk factor driving the world’s burden of disease. While over 800 million people still live with chronic hunger, the global population is increasingly affected by rising rates of overweight and obesity, which are expected to affect 1 in 2 people by 2030.

In the week leading up to World Food Day, the Global Panel is partnering with critical leading organisations to promote awareness on food systems and nutrition.

Our shared goal is to promote human wellbeing and development. As the Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger acknowledges, hunger and malnutrition remain huge barriers to development in many countries. It is therefore crucial to allow food systems to support access to high quality diets for all.

This effort also represents the Panel’s commitment to contribute to "Making a Difference in Food Security and Nutrition", the 44th Committee on World food Security taking place at FAO HQ from 9 to 13 October 2017.

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Sourced from over 850 data source, these facts draw on the Global Panel's Foresight report and the policy & technical briefs on food systems.

New facts and stats will be upoladed every day. Follow the campaign through to October 16th to see them all.

FACTS ON FOOD SYSTEMS AND DIETS

1- The risk that poor diets pose to mortality and morbidity is  greater than the combined risks of unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use. 

2- If we do not change current policies, by 2030 the number of overweight and obese people will increase from 1 to 3 billion. 

3- Poor diet is the number one risk factor driving the world’s burden of disease.

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FACTS ON SCHOOL FEEDING

1- In Kenya the annual income of farmers could increase by US$50 per year if schools were to purchase maize from them.

2- Absolute enrolment of girls increased by 28% when school feeding is available (32 African countries study).

3- Children eating at school gained an average of 0.7kg over a year.

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FACTS ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

1- In sub-Saharan Africa, 15 of the top 20 health risk factors are behavioural. The other 5 are highly influenced by behaviour.  

2- Eating 10 portions of fruit & vegetables a day is associated with a 33% reduced risk of stroke, and 31% reduction in dying prematurely.

3- Meeting “5-a-day” consumption recommendations would cost low-income households in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe 52% of their income.  

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FACTS ON THE FOOD ENVIRONMENT

1- Money spent on soft drinks, ready meals, snacks and ice cream increased by 75% in Brazil, 50% in Colombia and 42% in Thailand (2007-2012).

2- The amount that food & beverage companies invested in advertising accounted for 17% of all global media spending in 2012. 

3- 45% of private sector agricultural research investment is on maize, with little attention to nutritious crops such as fruits and vegetables, pulses, seeds and nuts.

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FACTS ON FOOD SAFETY

1- Children make up 9% of the world’s population, yet they count for 33% of all food contamination-related mortality.

2- Aflatoxin contamination contributed to the decline of West Africa’s share of the groundnut market, from 77% in the 1960s to 4% in 2010.

3- Natural toxins produced by fungi (mycotoxins) can be highly carcinogenic to consumers, and are linked to immune suppression in infants and impaired growth.

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FACTS ON CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE

1- Food demand will rise by 14% each decade in response to population growth, urbanisation, and increased incomes through to 2050.

2- Agriculture accounts for 70% of the worlds water use.

3- Climate change is expected to lead to a 2% fall in crop and livestock output per decade through to 2050.

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FACTS ON THE COST OF MALNUTRITION

1- A reduction in global levels of stunting by 20% would represent a rise in income of 11%. 

2- Every loss of 1% of attained height in adulthood reduces adult earnings by 2.4%.

3- In most African countries, every dollar invested in reducing chronic undernutrition in children yields a $18 return. 

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FACTS ON FORTIFICATION & BIOFORTIFICATION

1- Wheat flour fortified with folic acid helps reducing birth defects, while salt iodisation alleviates brain damage. (See Food Env brief)

2- Maize with high betacarotene traits has been shown to be as efficacious as supplements.  

3- Orange flesh sweet potato with betacarotene can result in increased consumer acceptability and vitamin A status.

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FACTS ON FOOD SYSTEMS AND DIET

1- 1 in 4 children globally are stunted and will not reach their full physical or cognitive potential.

2- 1 in 3 people suffer from diet-related malnutrition. It will be 1 in 2 if current trends continue. 

3- 80% of non-communicable diseases occur in low- and middle-income countries.

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