Food systems and diets: Facing the challenges of the 21st century
Nearly 3 billion people across 193 countries have low-quality diets lacking the required vitamins and minerals and this poses serious health risks while slowing economic and development progress, according to this new report by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition commissioned this Foresight report in 2015 to take a close look at the extent to which food systems are delivering healthy diets today and to assess whether they are fit for the future. While the focus has been on low- and middle-income countries, the findings constitute a stark warning for all countries. Despite past progress, approximately 3 billion people across the globe now have low-quality diets. Nearly a quarter of all children under five years of age are stunted, more than 2 billion people have insufficient micronutrients and the incidence of overweight and obesity is growing in every region. As a result, many economies are seriously underperforming, and diet-related chronic diseases are placing ever-greater demands on health care systems. Moreover, the situation is set to worsen dramatically over the next 20 years as powerful drivers of change such as population growth, climate change and urbanization converge on food systems.