Dual Burden of Malnutrition Obesity Starvation

August 15, 2019

It is estimated that by 2020, two-thirds of the global burden of disease will be due to chronic non-communicable diseases, most of which are associated with diet. While hunger is a tremendous global health concern that cannot be minimized, overnutrition should similarly be given concentrated attention. Malnutrition affects up-to 1 billion people. Even though undernutrition is the main cause of malnutrition, people who are overweight could also be malnourished.

The “dual burden of malnutrition” is a term coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to describe a situation which is characterized by “the coexistence of undernutrition along with overweight and obesity, or diet-related non-communicable diseases, within individuals, households and populations, and across the life course. Globally, the problem is not the availability of food resources, but the allocation and consumption of food.