United Nations, Oct 15 (IANS) At least one in every three children under five years of age is undernourished or overweight, according to a new Unicef report that sounds the alarm on the consequences of poor diets around the world.
In the report published on Monday, the Unicef warned that millions of children were eating too little of the food they need and too much of what they don’t need, adding “poor diets are now the main risk factor for the global burden of disease”, reports Efe news.
The result, according to Unicef, is that many of them are at risk of poor brain development, learning problems, poor immunity and increased infections and disease.
“Millions of children subsist on an unhealthy diet because they simply do not have a better choice,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
The report described the triple burden of malnutrition: undernutrition, hidden hunger and overweight.
In 2018, according to Unicef data, 149 million children under five years of age worldwide were stunted, and just under 50 million were wasted.
Contrary to common belief, most wasted children were concentrated in Asia rather than in countries facing emergencies.
In addition, 340 million children suffer deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals and 40 million under five were overweight or obese, a problem that has exploded in recent years.