TEHRAN – The World Health Organization (WHO) has selected the National Institute of Nutrition and Food Industry Research of Iran as the regional base of cooperation in nutritional science and food industry for countries of the eastern Mediterranean.
The importance of food and nutrition in the world today is more than ever felt, so much so that in some developed countries the question of creating the Ministry of Food and Nutrition has been raised. raised, Jalaledddin Mirzaei Razzaz, head of the Department of Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute said.
In Iran, the ministries of health and agriculture have been tasked with making arrangements for food independence, he said, ISNA reported on Monday.
At that time, Iran was in close competition with countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and finally Iran was selected thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Health, he said. Explain.
He expressed the hope that such international cooperation improves diet and nutrition in addition to people’s health.
Hunger is increasing in the world
A report prepared jointly by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO shows that currently around 690 million people, or 8.9 percent of the world’s population, suffer from hunger. Compared to previous figures, that number is up 10 million people in one year and nearly 60 million in five years.
âThe State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020â also indicates that the number of people affected by severe food insecurity has experienced a similar upward trend over the past five years. In 2019, nearly 750 million people, or nearly one in ten people worldwide, were at risk of severe levels of food insecurity.
Figures show that around 2 billion people around the world did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food in 2019.
Given the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is estimated that the pandemic could add between 83 and 132 million people to the total number of undernourished people globally in 2020 depending on the economic growth scenario.
In addition, the nutritional status of the most vulnerable population groups is likely to deteriorate further due to the health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.
While the burden of malnutrition in all its forms remains a challenge for the world, current estimates show that in 2019, 21.3 percent (144 million) of children under 5 were stunted, 6 , 9 percent (47 million) wasted and 5.6 percent. (38.3 million) overweight.
The report says healthy food is unaffordable for many people, especially the poor, in all parts of the world. The most conservative estimate shows that they are unaffordable for more than 3 billion people worldwide. Healthy diets are estimated to be, on average, five times more expensive than diets that meet dietary energy requirements only through a staple starch.
Based on current food consumption patterns, diet-related health costs linked to mortality and noncommunicable diseases are expected to exceed $ 1.3 trillion per year by 2030.
On the other hand, the social cost of feeding greenhouse gas emissions associated with current eating habits is estimated to be more than $ 1.7 trillion per year by 2030.
The prevalence of undernourishment in Iran
According to the report, Iran has experienced a relative reduction in the prevalence of undernourishment in its total population, from 5.2% in the period 2004-2006 to 4.7% in the period 2017. -2019. However, despite this improvement, the net number of undernourished people fell from 3.6 to 3.9 million.
FB / MG