"People can't get enough nutritious food because it's too expensive"
By Thin Lei Win
ROME, June 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Malnutrition is the "challenge of our time", with diet-related disease afflicting almost every country in the world, the winners of a $250,000 prize dubbed the Nobel for agriculture said on Monday.
David Nabarro and Lawrence Haddad, who
Stunting is caused by malnutrition in infancy and hinders cognitive as well as physical growth. Experts say the effects are largely irreversible and stunted children generally complete fewer years of schooling and earn less as adults.
Malnourished children also tended to become malnourished mothers, perpetuating the cycle, said Haddad, who heads the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
Levels of obesity, diabetes
"People can't get enough nutritious food because it's too expensive or unavailable and the stuff that they shouldn't be eating a lot of, stuff that's high in sugar, salt and fat, is really cheap and available," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
"This is the big challenge of our time. It's not about how to feed our world. It's about how to nourish our world."
Between them they have persuaded governments, donors and others to set up policies and programmes that decreased the number of stunted children globally to 155 million in 2017 from 165 million in 2012, the World Food Prize
Nabarro said good nutrition in the first 1,000 days from conception to a child's second birthday was "absolutely key".
"There is work still to be done to get a widespread understanding of the importance of the right kind of diet," he said.
About 815 million of the world's 7.6 billion people go hungry daily while 2 billion are overweight or obese, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
The winners were
Past recipients of the annual prize, founded in 1986 by Nobel laureate Norman Bourlag, include John
(Reporting By Thin Lei Win @thinink, Editing by Claire Cozens Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)
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