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The Striking Facts About Health And Nutrition Crises


Worldwide, the nutrition crisis has caused serious health crises and public health risks. Because, now our food contains less and less nutrients. What our grandparents ate was healthier than what we’re eating today.


Modern agriculture and food processing are the main reasons.


The root of the problem is that modern farming has messed up soil health in an attempt to increase crop yields. These include irrigation, fertilization and harvesting methods that also disrupt fundamental interactions between plants and soil fungi, reducing absorption of nutrients from the soil. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also diminish the nutritional value of our food.


When crops, including wheat, rice and potatoes, are exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide, they produce more carbon-based compounds, resulting in higher carbohydrate content. Moreover, higher concentrations of carbon dioxide makes these crops draw in less water, which means they absorb fewer micronutrients from the soil.


A 2018 experiment confirmed that concentrations of protein, iron, zinc and several B vitamins were reduced in 18 types of rice after exposure to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide.


Food manufacturers think more about profit than nutrition. Processed food takes some time from production to transportation. In order to extend the shelf life and sell it smoothly, food manufacturers will add preservatives. It is also common to remove certain nutrients and moisture to extend shelf life.


The nutrition crisis led to a global public health crisis.


Amazing facts from a World Health Organization report, published in September 2021, illustrate the serious nutritional crisis worldwide.


1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, while 462 million are underweight.

Globally in 2020, 149 million children under the age of 5 were estimated to be stunted, 45 million were estimated to be wasted, and 38.9 million were overweight or obese.

Undernutrition is responsible for approximately 45% of deaths among children under 5 years of age. Most of these occur in low- and middle-income countries. At the same time, rates of childhood overweight and obesity are rising in these same countries.

Iodine, vitamin A and iron are the most important for global public health. Their deficiency poses a major threat to the health and development of populations worldwide, especially children and pregnant women in low-income countries.


Data from Scaling Up Nutrition shows that nearly 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020 (SOFI, 2022). 


The global burden of malnutrition drags down the development of individuals, societies and nations, undermining economies and well-being.


The nutrition crisis has directly contributed to soaring obesity rates in the United States.


In order to feed more people, food is getting more and more calories, but less and less nutrition. Today, poor nutrition is the number one cause of disease in the United States, killing more than half a million people each year.


Dariush Mozaffarian, a member of the Federal Nutrition Research Advisory Group, said: "COVID-19 killed 100,000 Americans in just four months. And, in the past four months alone, poor diet is responsible for approximately 107,000 U.S deaths from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and 80,000 new cases of cancer. Half of U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes.”


The lack of good nutrition also poses a growing threat to U.S. military readiness and its economic competitiveness, according to the group. Nearly three in four people ages 17 to 24 are ineligible for military service, with obesity the leading factor.


Nearly three in four of American adults and nearly one in five of children are now either overweight or obese, as measured by body mass index (BMI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Poverty makes overweight and obesity more likely. Low-income people can't afford expensive healthy food and can only buy cheap food, which is often high in added sugar and unhealthy fat. These foods only add calories without much nutritional value.



1. Science Advance, "Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels this century will alter the protein, micronutrients, and vitamin content of rice grains with potential health consequences for the poorest rice-dependent countries."

2. World Health Organization, "Malnutrition."

3. Scaling Up Nutrition, "Special Focus: Global Food and Nutrition Crisis."

4. Everyday Health, "Poor Nutrition in the U.S. Poses Threats to Health, National Security, and Economy, Panel Says."

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