Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Energy Booster : "Give me Red " OR "Give me Bread."

Riches worried about controlling Sugar-- Pancreas (Islets of Langerhans) "Give me Red " 
Poor striving for bread to get some sugar.
"Give me Bread."


Hunger is a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971)
  • the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food
  • the want or scarcity of food in a country
  • a strong desire or craving
World hunger refers to the second definition, aggregated to the world level. The related technical term (in this case operationalized in medicine)  is either malnutrition, or, if malnutrition is taken to refer to both under nutrition and over nutrition as it increasingly is, under nutrition.  Both malnutrition and undernutrition refer to not having enough food. 
Malnutrition/undernutrition   is a general term that indicates a lack of some or all nutritional elements necessary for human health.
There are two basic types of malnutrition. The first and most important is protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). It is basically a lack of calories and protein. Food is converted into energy by humans, and the energy contained in food is measured by calories.  Protein is necessary for key body functions including provision of essential amino acids and  development and maintenance of muscles. This is  the most lethal form of malnutrition/hunger and is the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed. 
The second type of malnutrition, also very important, is micro nutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiency. This is not the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed, though it is certainly very important. 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 805 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2012-2014. Almost all the hungry people, 791 million, live in developing countries, representing 13.5 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties. There are 11 million people undernourished in developed countries .
Undernourishment around the world, 1990-2 to 2012-4
Number of undernourished and prevalence (%) of undernourishment
  1990-2 No. 1990-2 % 2012-4 No. 2012-4 %
World 1,014.5 18.7 805.3 11.3
Developed regions 20.4 <5 14.6 <5
Developing regions 994.1 23.4 790.7 14.5
Africa 182.1 27.7 226.7 20.5
  Sub-Saharan Africa 176.0 33.3 214.1 23.8
Asia 742.6 23.7 525.6 12.7
  Eastern Asia 295.2 23.2 161.2 10.8
  South-Eastern Asia 138.0 30.7 63.5 10.3
  Southern Asia 291.7 24.0 276.4 15.8
Latin America & Carib. 68.5 15.3 37.0 6.1
Oceana 1.0 15.7 1.4 14.0
Source: FAO The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014
The vast majority of hungry people live in developing regions, which saw a 42 percent reduction in the prevalence of undernourished people between 1990–92 and 2012–14. Despite this progress, about one in eight people, or 13.5 percent of the overall population, remain chronically undernourished in these regions, down from 23.4 percent in 1990–92.
 The target set by the Millenium goals was to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015. This goal will almost be reached. For developing countries as a whole, the goal was to halve the proportion of hungry people from the base year(s) of 1990-2, or from 23.4% to ll.7%.  As the proportion in 2014--one year before the year the goals are supposed to be achieved--is 14.5%, the goal is unlikely to be met, although there has been significant reduction.  As can be seen from the table, East Asia, South East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean regions have met the goal. 
World Food Summit target. The target set at the 1996 World Food Summit was to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015 from their number in 1990-92. Since 1990–92, the number of hungry people in developing regions has fallen by over 200 million, from 991 million to 790.7 million. However the goal is 497 million (1/2 of 994 million), which means that the target will not be reached.
Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition.  Black et al (2013) estimate that undernutrition in the aggregate—including fetal growth restriction, stunting, wasting, and deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc along with suboptimum breastfeeding—is a cause of 3·1 million child deaths annually or 45% of all child deaths in 2011 (Black et al. 2013).  Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body's ability to convert food into usable nutrients.
  • Globally 161 million under-five year olds were estimated to be stunted in 2013.
  • The global trend in stunting prevalence and numbers affected is decreasing. Between 2000 and 2013 stunting prevalence declined from 33% to 25% and numbers declined from 199 million to 161 million.
  • In 2013, about half of all stunted children lived in Asia and over one third in Africa. (UNICEF et al. 
 Wasting and severe wasting ·
  • Globally, 51 million under-five year olds were wasted and 17 million were severely wasted in 2013.
  • Globally, wasting prevalence in 2013 was estimated at almost 8% and nearly a third of that was for severe wasting, totaling 3%.
  •  In 2013, approximately two thirds of all wasted children lived in Asia and almost one third in Africa, with similar proportions for severely wasted children. (UNICEF )

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. For the world as a whole, per capita food availability has risen from about 2220 kcal/person/day in the early 1960s to 2790 kcal/person/day in 2006-08, while developing countries even recorded a leap from 1850 kcal/person/day to over 2640 kcal/person/day. This growth in food availability in conjunction with improved access to food helped reduce the percentage of chronically undernourished people in developing countries from 34 percent in the mid 1970s to just 15 percent three decades later. (FAO , p. 4) The principal problem is that many people in the world still do not have sufficient income to purchase (or land to grow) enough food.
What are the causes of hunger is a fundamental question, with varied answers. 
Poverty is the principal cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include poor people's lack of resources, an extremely unequal income distribution in the world and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself. As of 2015 (2011 statistics), the World Bank has estimated that there were just over 1 billion poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 a day or less.  This compares with compared with 1.91 billion in 1990, and 1.93 billion in 1981.  This means that 17 percent of people in the developing world lived at or below $1.25 a day in 2011, down from 43 percent in 1990 and 52 percent in 1981.  (This compares with the FAO estimate above of  791 million people living in chronic undernourishment in developing countries.) Progress has been slower at higher poverty lines. In all, 2.2 billion people lived on less than US $2 a day in 2011, the average poverty line in developing countries and another common measurement of deep deprivation. That is only a slight decline from 2.59 billion in 1981. (World Bank 2015, World Bank 2013).  Progress in poverty reduction has been concentrated in Asia, and especially, East Asia, with the major improvement occurring in China. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people in extreme poverty has increased.  The statement that 'poverty is the principal cause of hunger'  is, though correct, unsatisfying.  Why then are (so many) people poor?  The next sections summarize Hunger Notes' answer.
Harmful economic systems are a principal cause of poverty and hunger. Hunger Notes believes that a principal underlying cause of poverty and hunger is the ordinary operation of the economic and political systems in the world. Essentially control over resources and income is based on military, political and economic power that typically ends up in the hands of a minority, who live well, while those at the bottom barely survive, if they do. 
Conflict as a cause of hunger and poverty. 
For 2012, the first and latest year for which its estimates are available, the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) estimates that more than 172 million people were affected by conflict worldwide. Of this total 149 million or 87 percent were conflict-affected residents (CARs).  Internally displaced persons (IDPs) accounted for another 18 million and refugees for five million.  CRED says that the global total is higher because its figures only include 24 countries for which comparable and validated data are available.   CRED observes
  • Pakistan with 28 million and Nigeria with nearly 19 million had the largest numbers of people affected by conflict.
  • Libya and Somalia had the highest proportion of their populations affected by violence and insecurity at about 90 percent each.
  • IDPs suffer the worst health impacts of conflict.  They and their children are almost twice as likely as refugees to  die from conflict-related causes, particularly disease and starvation.
  • Conflict-affected residents also suffer significantly higher death rates than refugees. (CRED)
The estimated number of conflict-affected residents (172 million) represents 21 percent of the estimated number of undernourished people (805 million), which gives an approximate idea of the importance of conflict as a cause of hunger. 
Hunger is also a cause of poverty, and thus of hunger. By causing poor health, low levels of energy, and even mental impairment, hunger can lead to even greater poverty by reducing people's ability to work and learn, thus leading to even greater hunger.
Climate change Climate change is increasingly viewed as a current and future cause of hunger and poverty. Increasing drought, flooding, and changing climatic patterns requiring a shift in crops and farming practices that may not be easily accomplished are three key issues. 

Quite a few  trace elements or micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—are important for health. Three very important micronutrient deficiencies in terms of health consequences for poor people in developing countries are:
  • In developing countries every second pregnant woman and about 40% of preschool children are estimated to be anemic.
  • In many developing countries, iron deficiency anemia is aggravated by worm infections, malaria and other infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.
  • The major health consequences include poor pregnancy outcome, impaired physical and cognitive development, increased risk of morbidity in children and reduced work productivity in adults. Anemia contributes to 20% of all maternal deaths. 
Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A deficiency  can cause night blindness and reduces the body's resistance to disease. In children Vitamin A deficiency can also cause growth retardation.
  • An estimated 250 million preschool children are vitamin A deficient. An estimated 250,000 to 500 000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight.
  • Iodine deficiency is one of the main cause of impaired cognitive development in children.
  • Serious iodine deficiency during pregnancy can result in stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, and congenital abnormalities such as cretinism, a grave, irreversible form of mental retardation that affects people living in iodine-deficient areas of Africa and Asia.
  • Iodine deficiency has a simple solution: iodized salt. Thanks to this intervention, the number of countries where iodine deficiency is a public health problem has halved over the past decade.  However 54 countries still have a serious iodine deficiency problem. 

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