Poverty, Obesity, and Malnutrition: An International Perspective Recognizing the Paradox

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 12/2007; 107(11):1966-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2007.08.007
Source: PubMed


In the year 2000, multiple global health agencies and stakeholders convened and established eight tenets that, if followed, would make our world a vastly better place. These tenets are called the Millennium Development Goals. Most of these goals are either directly or indirectly related to nutrition. The United Nations has led an evaluation team to monitor and assess the progress toward achieving these goals until 2015. We are midway between when the goals were set and the year 2015. The first goal is to "eradicate extreme poverty and hunger." Our greatest responsibility as nutrition professionals is to understand the ramifications of poverty, chronic hunger, and food insecurity. Food insecurity is complex, and the paradox is that not only can it lead to undernutrition and recurring hunger, but also to overnutrition, which can lead to overweight and obesity. It is estimated that by the year 2015 noncommunicable diseases associated with overnutrition will surpass undernutrition as the leading causes of death in low-income communities. Therefore, we need to take heed of the double burden of malnutrition caused by poverty, hunger, and food insecurity. Informing current practitioners, educators, and policymakers and passing this information on to future generations of nutrition students is of paramount importance.

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Available from: Martha Kaufer-Horwitz, Apr 29, 2015
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    • "Como contraparte, durante muchos años el sobrepeso y la obesidad fueron considerados privativos de los países desarrollados (Aranceta Bartrina, 2002). No obstante, en las últimas décadas se ha verificado en países en vías de desarrollo un rápido incremento de estos indicadores (Tanumihardjo et al., 2007; Popkin, 2009). De hecho, se ha informado que muchos países con ingresos bajos y medianos afrontan actualmente , morbilidad de " doble carga " : mientras continúan con los problemas de las enfermedades infecciosas y la desnutrición, experimentan un aumento brusco en sobrepeso y obesidad con el riesgo de contraer enfermedades no transmisibles . "

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    • "The idea that serum retinol or its active metabolites may play an important role in the genesis, or the prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases is relatively new but increasingly plausible (Chai et al., 2010). Better understanding how vitamin A or other anti-inflammatory nutrients may be involved in the relationships between hsCRP, BMI and cardiovascular risks is particularly important in the context of the dual burden of underweight and overweight as well as micronutrient insufficiencies/deficiencies found in developing and middle income countries (Doak et al., 2005; Tanumihardjo et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Low-grade elevation of C-reactive protein (CRP) is a non-specific inflammatory marker, used as a predictor for cardiovascular disease development and chronic inflammatory risks. Research investigating dietary influences on inflammation has focused primarily on the relationship between dietary characteristics, CRP elevation and BMI in the populations at greatest risk for cardiovascular disease, namely those in the overweight and obese ranges, often in clinical settings and/or among those middle aged or older, leaving little information about normal to underweight populations of reproductive age in ecological settings. This study evaluates impacts of dietary nutrients on serum CRP levels in a population of predominantly underweight to normal weight adult women experiencing the additional nutritional demands of lactation. Methods Data from non-overweight breastfeeding Ariaal women of Kenya collected in 2006 were used (n = 194). Logistic regression models were applied using low-grade CRP elevation (hsCRP > 3 mg/L) as the outcome variable and dietary nutrients, age, BMI, and serum retinol as predictors. ResultsModels showed that energy intake (Kcal) and age were positive predictors of CRP elevation while folate intake, total vitamin A intake, and serum retinol concentration were protective against CRP elevation. Unlike previous studies among higher BMI populations, this study found no significant effect of dietary lipids/fatty acids or BMI on CRP elevation. Conclusions The effects of specific dietary nutrients on inflammatory status may vary with BMI or, in women, reproductive status. Further research should investigate the role of dietary fats, fatty acids, and antioxidant vitamins across populations with a wide range of BMI, including postpartum women. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 26:796-802, 2014. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014; DOI:10.1002/ajhb.22600 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    • "Food systems are considered to be vulnerable when one or more of these components is jeopardized or uncertain (FAO 2011). Hunger is a potential outcome, but not necessarily a consequence of food insecurity, although both are strongly linked to poverty (NRC 2006; Tanumihardjo et al. 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the potential role of perennial woody food-producing species (“food trees”) in cities in the context of urban sustainable development and propose a multifunctional approach that combines elements of urban agriculture, urban forestry, and agroforestry into what we call “urban food forestry” (UFF). We used four approaches at different scales to gauge the potential of UFF to enhance urban sustainability and contribute to food security in the context of urbanization and climate change. First, we identified 37 current initiatives based around urban food trees, and analyzed their activities in three categories: planting, mapping, and harvesting, finding that the majority (73 %) only performed one activity, and only 8 % performed all three. Second, we analyzed 30 urban forestry master plans, finding that only 13 % included human food security among their objectives, while 77 % included habitat for wildlife. Third, we used Burlington, Vermont as a case study to quantify the potential fruit yield of publicly accessible open space if planted with Malus domestica (the common apple) under nine different planting and yield scenarios. We found that 108 % of the daily recommended minimum intake of fruit for the entire city’s population could be met under the most ambitious planting scenario, with substantial potential to contribute to food security even under more modest scenarios. Finally, we developed a Climate–Food–Species Matrix of potential food trees appropriate for temperate urban environments as a decision-making tool. We identified a total of 70 species, 30 of which we deemed “highly suitable” for urban food forestry based on their cold hardiness, drought tolerance, and edibility. We conclude that substantial untapped potential exists for urban food forestry to contribute to urban sustainability via increased food security and landscape multifunctionality.
    Landscape Ecology 11/2013; 28(9). DOI:10.1007/s10980-013-9903-z · 3.50 Impact Factor
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