By Angela Bekiaris
OCTOBER 16 marks World Food Day — now that’s a celebration right? Who doesn’t love eating? Salty, sweet and everything in between. We’re getting hungry just talking about it. But what is World Food day all about? And what are the affects of food poverty?
According to greeningtheblue.org, World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger. On this day, people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger from our lifetime. Events are organised in over 150 countries, promoting worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The focus of the day, explain sources, ‘is that food is a basic and fundamental human right’.
Did You Know?
According to reports, 805 million people worldwide live with chronic hunger; 60 percent women and almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every day. Poverty reduces life expectancy and quality of life.
What Is Food Poverty?
According to Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University in London, ‘food poverty is about less or almost no consumption of fruit and vegetables’. Food poverty can be defined as the inability to obtain healthy affordable food. Food poverty can also be about an overabundance of junk food, as well as a lack of healthy food. People on low incomes have the lowest intakes of fruit and vegetables and are far more likely to suffer from diet-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease.
The Impact Of Food Poverty
There are a number of negative effects. According to sources, ‘the cycle of food insecurity and chronic disease begins when an individual or family cannot afford enough nutritious food. The combination of stress and poor nutrition can make disease management even more challenging’.
As mentioned above, adults living in poverty are at greater risk for a number of health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, obesity (primarily among women), depression, disability, poor oral health, and premature mortality. They also have higher rates of physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, and inadequate micronutrient intake.
ChangIng The World
Here are some reasons, courtesy of greeningtheblue.org, as to how zero hunger could change the world:
- Well-nourished mothers have healthier babies with stronger immune systems.
- Ending child undernutrition could increase a developing country’s GDP by 16.5 percent.
- Proper nutrition early in life could mean 46 percent more in lifetime earnings.
- Eliminating iron deficiency in a population could boost workplace productivity by 20 percent.
Eradicate Food Poverty
Do your bit in preventing hunger. Lend a helping hand and donate food. It might not save the world, but it will help someone in need. Donating food or cash can have an impact on world hunger, and if everyone did their bit it could save many lives. Having access to education is also important. While this is not as easy for some, experts stress that education is the best weapon against poverty and hunger — it means better opportunity and more access to income and food.