We are now fatter and more undernourished than ever
According to a new report in The Lancet, humans have never been at the same time more obese, and yet somehow also malnourished.
The report says that low- and middle-income countries are most at risk, due to a lack of access to affordable healthy food. That said, this double-burden affects more than 50-countries.
Those with the highest levels of malnutrition obesity include Egypt, Azerbaijan, and Guatemala.
Malnutrition is linked to health problems and premature death, as well as pulling down the country’s health system.
The report, compiled in collaboration with the World Health Organization, says that being overweight can no longer be counted as a ‘rich country problem’.
"While more than 149 million children have stunted growth, childhood overweight and obesity are increasing almost everywhere, and suboptimal diets are responsible for one in five (22 per cent) adult deaths globally," it said.
"The economic, social, and environmental costs of inaction will hinder the growth and development of individuals and societies for decades to come," it warned.
The report blames “very rapid changes in diets and food systems” including fresh markets increasingly giving way to takeaway food retailers.
"Offsetting the effects of any ultra-processed food is difficult -- e.g. by drinking a 355 ml bottle of sugar-sweetened beverage, the consumer would be required to undertake a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometre) walk or run for at least 15 minutes."
According to a recent trial conducted by the US National Institutes of Health, adults of normal weight lost almost 1-kilogramme just by going on a ‘healthy’ real food diet of two weeks. They gained the same amount when fed ultra-processed foods.