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Proceedings ArticleDOI

Malnutrition, a Global Problem

01 Jan 2010-pp 1

TL;DR: The objectives of this study are to review the occurrence of global malnutrition, and to discuss potential solutions to this challenging problem.

AbstractMalnutrition is a general term for medical conditions caused by an inadequate diet and poor nutrition. Hunger and malnutrition are among the major difficulties confronting many countries around the world. Malnutrition can be caused by several factors, such as the sharp increase in population (current world population is approximately 6,800,000,000), poor distribution of foods, lack of access to highly nutritious foods, and most important, lack of knowledge about healthy diets. Malnutrition can lead to other problems, such as reduced school attendance, learning capacity, spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and it can have a negative effect on a nation’s development. The objectives of this study are: 1) to review the occurrence of global malnutrition, and 2) to discuss potential solutions to this challenging problem. For example, over three billion people are affected with micronutrient malnutrition in the developing world. Lack of micronutrient components such as iodine, zinc, vitamin A and iron can lead to maternal mortality, diseases such as HIV, and other problems. Over 146 million children under five are underweight and children often die because of malnutrition. There are many challenges to overcome malnutrition, and to provide food security for people. UNICEF, WFS and other organizations are trying to help malnourished children by sending food aid, but this is not enough, and there are still many places in which food security does not exist. According to the FAO organization, food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious foods to meet their dietary needs. So, to develop and distribute nutritious, widely available, low cost foods, which can be consumed by many people around the world is of great importance.

Topics: Malnutrition (66%), Food security (60%), Population (53%)

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Proceedings ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2010
Abstract: For centuries, cereals have been major food stuffs used all around the world; because of that, there are many different kinds of breads produced from different types of flours. Despite the variety of flours available, there are still many challenges to produce ingredients which maximize nutrient components, and with which healthier breads and other products can be produced. As studies have shown, traditional wheat flour has some nutritional deficiencies (although this is a matter of perspective), which depend on the level of consumption. Additionally, gluten intolerance and Celiac disease are growing problems. The nutritional value of breads can be enhanced through the use of a variety of alternative flours. The objective of this study is to review and discuss alternatives to traditional wheat flour, with an emphasis on improved nutritional characteristics. Oat, for instance, has been used to improve the protein and fiber content of bread. Fortification of breads with soybean flour can also dramatically improve their protein quality. Barley, flaxseed, and rye flours can be used to increase the amount of dietary fiber in breads. Dietary fiber can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes. Rye flour is recommended as an integral part of the diet as a source of biologically active substances. There are also other materials which can be used to add value to flour. One of them is DDGS, which is a co-product from the production of fuel ethanol from corn. By using alternative materials, traditional wheat flours can be fortified and their nutrient profiles enhanced.

3 citations


Cites background from "Malnutrition, a Global Problem"

  • ...Malnutrition can lead to underweight children, anemic mothers, diseases such as marasmus, beriberi, scurvy, kwashiorkor, etc. (Pourafshar et al., 2010)....

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  • ...Today, many countries are confronting problems such as malnutrition and micronutrient malnutrition (Pourafshar et al., 2010)....

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Proceedings ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2010
Abstract: In Middle Eastern countries, there are many traditional products which are made from wheat; bread is the most important one, and it is eaten with almost every kind of food. The goals of this study are to 1) in general, review major types of breads in the Middle East, and 2) specifically discuss Iranian breads. There are four major Iranian flat breads; all of these are fundamentally the same, and the dough in all of them consists of water, yeast, baking powder, and wheat flour, but they also have some ingredients which are specific to each product. The first of these breads is Barbari, which is thick and oval shaped. Barbari is baked in a curved oven whose interior is covered with bricks. The second type is Lavash, which is thin, flaky and round. Lavash can be found in other Middle East countries as well. The third is Sangak, which is triangle shaped; it can be very large in size. Sangak is baked in an oven which is covered with small stones. This bread is often topped with poppy or sesame seeds. The fourth bread is Taftoon, which is thin, but it is thicker than Lavash. It is also soft and round. Additionally, there are other kinds of breads in Iran, such as Shirmal, Ghandi and Tiri, but they are not as popular. This study represents the first stage of a larger research agenda, which is aimed at enhancing both the nutritional and functional properties of traditional Middle Eastern breads, while at the same time preserving taste and consumer acceptability.

1 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The world's agricultural community should adopt plant breeding and other genetic technologies to improve human health, and the world's nutrition and health communities should support these efforts.
Abstract: Over three billion people are currently micronutrient (i.e. micronutrient elements and vitamins) malnourished, resulting in egregious societal costs including learning disabilities among children, increased morbidity and mortality rates, lower worker productivity, and high healthcare costs, all factors diminishing human potential, felicity, and national economic development. Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. iron, zinc, vitamin A) account for almost two-thirds of the childhood death worldwide. Most of those afflicted are dependent on staple crops for their sustenance. Importantly, these crops can be enriched (i.e. ‘biofortified’) with micronutrients using plant breeding and/ or transgenic strategies, because micronutrient enrichment traits exist within their genomes that can to used for substantially increasing micronutrient levels in these foods without negatively impacting crop productivity. Furthermore, ‘proof of concept’ studies have been published using transgenic approaches to biofortify staple crops (e.g. high b-carotene ‘golden rice’ grain, high ferritin-Fe rice grain, etc). In addition, micronutrient element enrichment of seeds can increase crop yields when sowed to micronutrient-poor soils, assuring their adoption by farmers. Bioavailability issues must be addressed when employing plant breeding and/or transgenic approaches to reduce micronutrient malnutrition. Enhancing substances (e.g. ascorbic acid, S-containing amino acids, etc) that promote micronutrient bioavailability or decreasing antinutrient substances (e.g. phytate, polyphenolics, etc) that inhibit micronutrient bioavailability, are both options that could be pursued, but the latter approach should be used with caution. The world’s agricultural community should adopt plant breeding and other genetic technologies to improve human health, and the world’s nutrition and health communities should support these efforts. Sustainable solutions to this enormous global problem of ‘hidden hunger’ will not come without employing agricultural approaches.

1,247 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
02 Jun 2004-JAMA
TL;DR: An overall improvement in the global situation is anticipated; however, neither the world as a whole, nor the developing regions, are expected to achieve the Millennium Development goals.
Abstract: ContextOne key target of the United Nations Millennium Development goals is to reduce the prevalence of underweight among children younger than 5 years by half between 1990 and 2015.ObjectiveTo estimate trends in childhood underweight by geographic regions of the world.Design, Setting, and ParticipantsTime series study of prevalence of underweight, defined as weight 2 SDs below the mean weight for age of the National Center for Health Statistics and World Health Organization (WHO) reference population. National prevalence rates derived from the WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, which includes data on approximately 31 million children younger than 5 years who participated in 419 national nutritional surveys in 139 countries from 1965 through 2002.Main Outcome MeasuresLinear mixed-effects modeling was used to estimate prevalence rates and numbers of underweight children by region in 1990 and 2015 and to calculate the changes (ie, increase or decrease) to these values between 1990 and 2015.ResultsWorldwide, underweight prevalence was projected to decline from 26.5% in 1990 to 17.6% in 2015, a change of –34% (95% confidence interval [CI], –43% to –23%). In developed countries, the prevalence was estimated to decrease from 1.6% to 0.9%, a change of –41% (95% CI, –92% to 343%). In developing regions, the prevalence was forecasted to decline from 30.2% to 19.3%, a change of –36% (95% CI, –45% to –26%). In Africa, the prevalence of underweight was forecasted to increase from 24.0% to 26.8%, a change of 12% (95% CI, 8%-16%). In Asia, the prevalence was estimated to decrease from 35.1% to 18.5%, a change of –47% (95% CI, –58% to –34%). Worldwide, the number of underweight children was projected to decline from 163.8 million in 1990 to 113.4 million in 2015, a change of −31% (95% CI, −40% to −20%). Numbers are projected to decrease in all subregions except the subregions of sub-Saharan, Eastern, Middle, and Western Africa, which are expected to experience substantial increases in the number of underweight children.ConclusionsAn overall improvement in the global situation is anticipated; however, neither the world as a whole, nor the developing regions, are expected to achieve the Millennium Development goals. This is largely due to the deteriorating situation in Africa where all subregions, except Northern Africa, are expected to fail to meet the goal.

296 citations


01 Jan 2007

195 citations


"Malnutrition, a Global Problem" refers background in this paper

  • ...which malnutrition is more prevalent, may receive less food from the total value added after a trade reform, because the food industry resembles a successive oligopoly with producers from developing countries at the first stage of food chain (Swinnen, 2007)....

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  • ...…illustration, developing countries, in which malnutrition is more prevalent, may receive less food from the total value added after a trade reform, because the food industry resembles a successive oligopoly with producers from developing countries at the first stage of food chain (Swinnen, 2007)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In examining the effect of sex on the economic and social costs of micronutrient deficiencies, the paper found that there is also an urgent need for increased effort to demonstrate the cost of these deficiencies, as well as the benefits of addressing them, especially compared with other health and nutrition interventions.
Abstract: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies adversely affect a third of the world's people. Consequently, a series of global goals and a serious amount of donor and national resources have been directed at such micronutrient deficiencies. Drawing on the extensive experience of the authors in a variety of institutional settings, the article used a computer search of the published scientific literature of the topic, supplemented by reports and published and unpublished work from the various agencies. In examining the effect of sex on the economic and social costs of micronutrient deficiencies, the paper found that: (1) micronutrient deficiencies affect global health outcomes; (2) micronutrient deficiencies incur substantial economic costs; (3) health and nutrition outcomes are affected by sex; (4) micronutrient deficiencies are affected by sex, but this is often culturally specific; and finally, (5) the social and economic costs of micronutrient deficiencies, with particular reference to women and female adolescents and children, are likely to be considerable but are not well quantified. Given the potential impact on reducing infant and child mortality, reducing maternal mortality, and enhancing neuro-intellectual development and growth, the right of women and children to adequate food and nutrition should more explicitly reflect their special requirements in terms of micronutrients. The positive impact of alleviating micronutrient malnutrition on physical activity, education and productivity, and hence on national economies suggests that there is also an urgent need for increased effort to demonstrate the cost of these deficiencies, as well as the benefits of addressing them, especially compared with other health and nutrition interventions.

189 citations


"Malnutrition, a Global Problem" refers background in this paper

  • ...…mortality because a malnourished mother is likely to give birth to a low-birth-weight baby susceptible to disease and premature death, which only further undermines the economic development of the family and society and continues the cycle of poverty and malnutrition (Darnton-Hill et al, 2005)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Why nutrition programs have shifted their primary emphasis from control of protein deficiency, to energy deficiency, and now to micronutrient deficiencies is discussed.
Abstract: There has been an evolution in our understanding of the causes of undernutrition and of the nutrition intervention programs that should be prioritized. This article discusses why nutrition programs have shifted their primary emphasis from control of protein deficiency, to energy deficiency, and now to micronutrient deficiencies. It has become recognized by the nutrition community that micronutrient malnutrition is very widespread, and is probably the main nutritional problem in the world. The most commonly used strategies for micronutrient deficiency control are supplementation and fortification, because they are cost-effective and to some extent, relatively easy to deliver. They have important limitations, however. Relatively little emphasis has been placed on food-based approaches to control micronutrient malnutrition. Evidence from several past studies, including the Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program (N-CRSP), indicated a strong positive association between animal source food (ASF) intake, micronutrient status, and many human functions. This association motivated the intervention studies supported by the Global Livestock CRSP and described in this supplement, which found benefits of increasing ASF intake. In contrast to the common assumption that increasing consumption of ASF in poor communities is infeasible, and will only cause environmental problems, the articles in this supplement show the potential economic benefits of animal ownership in poor communities, and provide examples of innovative programs that have increased local production and consumption. Much more communication is needed among the nutrition, agriculture and development communities to achieve improved dietary quality for poor populations.

179 citations