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Health Nutrition & Diet

Key Facts

  • Globally, one in three people are overweight or obese
  • Globally, one in nine people are hungry and undernourished

At this point in history, the number of overweight people on the planet is greater than the number of those going hungry. But the problem is complicated...  

  • Many of the people who are overweight are also malnourished (they’re consuming lots of food but not enough of the right nutrients) 
  • Hunger is still an issue for 800 million people globally. 

In total, three billion people worldwide cannot afford a healthy diet, which explains why so many children are unable to grow and develop. In 2019, 144 million children under five were stunted (too short for their age), and 47 million were wasted (very underweight). 

It’s no surprise we’re not getting the right nutrients when we’re eating more junk food than ever before. New processed foods are more available, more affordable and more cleverly advertised every day.  

These foods are: 

  • High in sugar, salt and fat  
  • Low in the nutrients our bodies really need  
  • Inexpensive  
  • Cunningly marketed by businesses who design enticing ad campaigns.  

Covid-19 has revealed that more people are suffering from hunger than we previously thought, and the pandemic has made it harder for millions of people who already struggled to afford a healthy diet. The situation is expected to get worse, unless we act now.  

There’s no one solution: all kinds of diets can provide the right energy and nutrient levels, but we’ll need to use tools like food taxes, labelling and restrictions on junk food advertising to get businesses to produce more of what we should be eating, and at affordable prices.  

Do you have other ideas for tackling the problem?  


Mike Khunga

Mike Khunga, 27, Malawi

I’m concerned that food insecurity and malnutrition exists in many parts of the world despite the fact that we have enough technologies and capacity to feed everyone.

Mike is a youth activist and nutrition professional from Malawi. He’s dedicated his time to leading nutrition projects that help young people and promote nutrition awareness. Read more about Mike’s story on Act4Food.