Lack of healthy diet is killing 11 million people every year

Five United Nations agencies recently said that the deaths of 11 million people are killed each year due to a lack of a healthy diet. In addition, an additional 420,000 people die from unhealthy foods, and poor diets lead to chronic diseases that cause suffering and place a huge burden on the budgets of all countries.

Some 3 billion people around the world cannot afford a healthy meal, which increases chronic diseases, UN agencies said when presenting the coalition in this Swiss city.

The coalition is made up of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). They recalled that inadequate nutrition leads to chronic diseases that cause suffering and place a huge burden on the budgets of all countries. It is linked to six of the top 10 risk factors for the global burden of disease.

The coalition “calls for action to deliver healthy diets” and will support countries in reaching their goals for human health and environmental sustainability, “thereby achieving a real victory for people, climate and nature.”

It maintains that, on the other hand, malnutrition “constitutes a violation of the human right to food and continues to generate social and health inequalities.” There are about 800 million hungry people in the world and twice that number are overweight.

The initiative highlights that “the unsustainable practices that define the world’s food systems today are also driving deforestation, biodiversity loss, ocean depletion, the emergence of zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance.”

Healthy diets in a sustainable food system are dietary regimens that promote health and prevent disease, but their widespread consumption requires that healthy foods are available, affordable, accessible and attractive to all.

This food also needs to be produced and distributed using methods that ensure decent work and protect the planet, soil, water and biodiversity.

The Coalition aims to “mobilize and support collective action towards the goal of all people consuming healthy diets from sustainable food systems”.

Its work plan includes three key points, the first of which is “mobilizing and coordinating knowledge for orchestrated action in food systems in a way that produces a positive impact at the country level.”

Second, to facilitate learning between countries.

And as a third purpose, manage special projects, according to the priorities of each country, to integrate the spheres of nutrition, health and sustainability through food.

The agencies emphasize that bringing this plan to fruition would make it possible to achieve several goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, promoting healthy living and well-being for everyone, and reduce non-communicable diseases.

Likewise, improve maternal and child health, promote responsible consumption and production and adopt urgent measures to combat climate change.

The coalition was formed after the UN Food Systems Summit, held in 2021 and which brought together several of its agencies, member states, civil society organizations, academic institutions and social movements.

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