Report: Almost Half of the World’s Population is Undernourished or Overweight

Nearly half of the world’s population is undernourished or overweight. According to research published in the Global Nutrition Report (GNR), 48 percent of people suffer from nutritional health problems.


The GNR has been published annually since 2014 and is supported by several countries and organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Some of the people with these problems eat too little food with sufficient nutrients, and others eat too much unhealthy food, such as sugary products or red meat. Eating too little and not getting enough nutrients can lead to children who are much too thin or children who do not grow enough. According to the GNR, 150 million children worldwide are too small due to a lack of nutrients, 45 million are too thin, and 40 million are overweight.

Overweight is especially common in rich countries, according to the report. Too much unhealthy food is eaten there. As a result, 40 percent of the adult population is overweight, that is 2.2 billion people.

For the first time this year, the GNR has devoted extensive attention to people’s eating habits. These habits have to change considerably, especially in richer countries, reports the GNR. People there should eat less sugary products and unhealthy meat products to prevent obesity. In countries where people have too few nutrients at their disposal, help must come so that fruit and vegetables can also be eaten there. A minimum of 4 billion dollars is needed to achieve the minimum targets in poor countries, according to the GNR.

Adjusting the diet can also reduce CO2 emissions, say the researchers. Food production is responsible for 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less meat and dairy products would significantly reduce those emissions, the GNR reports.

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