One in five people on the planet does not have access to a healthy diet: the serious consequences

A recent report of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reveals that three billion people in the world do not have access to a healthy diet. This alarming data underlines the urgency of transforming food systems to prevent malnutrition and non-communicable diseases, responsible for more than 73% of global deaths.

The Global Food Policy Report (GFPR) 2024 argues that eating properly could save one in five lives. By providing the nutrients necessary for an active and healthy life, good nutrition contributes to the well-being and productivity of the world’s population.

However, many people face barriers to accessing good food, which are often neither affordable nor available. IFPRI suggests community-specific solutions that are adaptable, dynamic and equitable, to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet.

The consequences of three billion people not having access to a healthy diet.
(Shutterstock)

One of the main challenges is the preference for ultra-processed foods and the excessive consumption of products of animal origin, although many vulnerable populations still lack adequate access to these foods. Urbanization and rural transformation have increased the consumption of unhealthy products due to their low cost.

The study also highlights the need to implement policies that manage nutrition, such as mandatory front labeling and restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy products, especially aimed at children and adolescents. Additionally, food systems must consider climate change and environmental constraints.

The consequences of three billion people not having access to a healthy diet.
(Shutterstock)

To reduce this way of eating, the report suggests increasing behavior change communication and social assistance programs that address barriers to healthy and sustainable eating habits. It is also crucial to increase the supply of diverse, safe and affordable nutritious foods.

A comprehensive approach is essential to achieve meaningful transformation. This includes the interaction between dietary patterns, food environments, production and policies, along with social and environmental factors. No single intervention or policy can achieve the necessary change; all actions must be interconnected and supported by good governance to achieve healthy diets and sustainable.

The consequences of three billion people not having access to a healthy diet.
(Shutterstock)

The consequences of poor nutrition are devastating: millions of people They suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, overweight, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. This is why transforming food systems is vital to improving global health and well-being.

 
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