Only Acting Together Can We Stop the Rise in Malnutrition

In Latin America, 8.4% of women are in a situation of severe food insecurity, compared to 6.9% of men. In ten countries, 20% of the poorest children suffer three times more chronic malnutrition than the richest 20%. Indigenous populations suffer greater food insecurity than non-indigenous people, and rural populations have higher rates of poverty than urban ones.

A woman making tortillas in her home in the village of San
Lorenzo, Chiapas, Mexico. In Latin America, 8.4% of women are in a
situation of severe food insecurity, compared to 6.9% of men.
Credit: FAO

By Julio Berdergué, Marita Perceval, and Miguel Barreto
SANTIAGO, Nov 8 2018 (IPS)

The number of undernourished people increased for the third
consecutive year in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has
exceeded 39 million people. In addition, almost one in four adults
is obese, while overweight affects 250 million; more than the
entire population of Brazil.

For this reason, for the first time, four agencies of the United
Nations system -FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and WFP- have joined together
to publish the
Panorama of food and nutrition security in Latin America and the
Caribbean 2018
.

In Latin America, 8.4% of women are in a situation of severe
food insecurity, compared to 6.9% of men. In ten countries, 20% of
the poorest children suffer three times more chronic malnutrition
than the richest 20%.
This year’s edition focuses on inequality, a fundamental issue
for the region. Inequality contributes both to hunger and several
different forms of malnutrition. In Latin America, 8.4% of women
are in a situation of severe food insecurity, compared to 6.9% of
men. In ten countries, 20% of the poorest children suffer three
times more chronic malnutrition than the richest 20%. Indigenous
populations suffer greater food insecurity than non-indigenous
people, and rural populations have higher rates of poverty than
urban ones.

Without addressing inequality in food security and nutrition, we
will not be able to fulfill the commitment we have adopted to leave
no one behind, established in the 2030 Sustainable Development
Agenda.

It is necessary to understand why malnutrition, lack of
micronutrients, overweight and obesity have a greater impact on
people with lower income, women, indigenous people, people of
African descent and rural families. Above all, we must act in a
differentiated way to ensure that these social groups and the
populations of territories that are lagging behind can also fulfill
their right to food.

FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and WFP are convinced that it is perfectly
possible to transform our food systems to ensure a better diet for
all, in a way that is more sustainable an adapted to climate
change.

Today we understand that we need actions in production,
international trade, processing and marketing of products to have
healthy food. We can work to improve environments, in a way that
facilitates access to healthy foods, and encourage practices that
help people make more informed and responsible consumption
decisions.

It is possible to change the current course of the region to
accelerate progress towards the goal of eradicating hunger and all
forms of malnutrition: the Sustainable Development Goal 2. For
this, what we need most is to recover greater political commitment
with the eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

Some governments are already implementing a new generation of
policies to address the specificities of the groups that are
suffering the most. Innovative public policies to reduce overweight
and obesity are also being applied for the first time.

For these policies to be successful, we need the participation
of everyone. Together we must think of ways for all the actors of
the food system to act more responsibly with society and the
environment, from producers to consumers. Together we can build
food systems that ensure adequate food in the present and in the
future. Together we can guarantee a healthy life for all and become
the zero hunger generation.

The post
Only Acting Together Can We Stop the Rise in Malnutrition

appeared first on Inter Press
Service
.

Excerpt:

Julio Berdegué is FAO Regional Representative, Marita Perceval
is Director of UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean, Miguel
Barreto is Regional Director of WFP

The post
Only Acting Together Can We Stop the Rise in Malnutrition

appeared first on Inter Press
Service
.

Source: FS – All – Food and Nutrition Blogs
Only Acting Together Can We Stop the Rise in Malnutrition