Junk Foods and Malnutrition Kill More Than Tobacco, Alcohol and AIDS Combined

Junk Foods and Malnutrition Kill More Than Tobacco, Alcohol and AIDS Combined

An international experts report invites Leaders to take better account of food quality problems.

Junk Foods and Malnutrition Kill More Than Tobacco Alcohol and AIDS Combined


While progress has been made in recent decades to reduce hunger in the world, It would still affect one in ten people today. This has reduced mortality for millions of families. But, while 795 million people still suffer from hunger, one in three people in the world is considered malnourished. Two billion people lack essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin A.

The consequences of malnutrition and undernutrition are serious. About 45% of all child deaths before five years are linked to undernutrition and 12% of deaths are related to non-optimal breastfeeding.

Malnutrition leads to a poor quality diet that does not provide enough calories, vitamins, minerals or that brings too many calories, low quality carbohydrates, salt and sugar. Diabetes, hypertension, overweight … In the next 20 years, in countries like Nigeria and Ethiopia, the number of cases of diabetes is expected to double. This poor diet may also aggravate the symptoms of infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria or measles. According to international experts, diseases related to malnutrition have a greater impact on health than tobacco, alcohol and unprotected sexual combined.

The forecasts of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition for the coming years are not optimistic. His report in September 2016 predicts that overweight is expected to double in China over the next 20 years compared to 2005; The share of obese or overweight adults in China is expected to reach 50% in 2030. Worldwide, the number of obese or overweight people is expected to increase from 1.33 billion in 2005 to 3.28 billion in 2030, Of the world’s population.At the same time, the number of people who do not consume enough calories would be 653 million in 2030 (795 million in 2015).

As the world’s population should continue to increase, states must find solutions to bring enough good quality food to all. The panel of experts suggests that access to good quality food is facilitated. This implies a policy in favor of agriculture that produces quality rather than quantity. The report also stresses that increasing the incomes of the population is not the guarantee of an improvement in the quality of its food.

Finally, global warming will also have a negative impact on the nutritional quality of agricultural products (cereals, legumes …). The fight against global warming is therefore also part of a policy favorable to human health.



Food systems and diets. Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. September 2016.

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