Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 16, 2008 World Food Day

Who is Hungry and Why?
The world now produces much more food than is required to provide everyone with an adequate diet, yet 923 million people - almost one person in seven - do not have enough to eat. Most of these people live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Deprived of sufficient calories and nutrients, the body compensates by reducing physical activity. In children, growth slows or virtually stops. A hungry mother gives birth to an underweight baby, who then faces a future plagued by stunted growth and frequent illness. The cycle of hunger and poverty continues.

Education is one of the surest ways out of poverty, yet the poor have little money for school fees, books and uniforms. Hungry children who do attend school have a harder time concentrating and assimilating knowledge.

Women and girls -- the majority of the poor -- have fewer opportunities for education and training than men and in many cultures eat less than men despite frequently having heavier workloads. Women's responsibilities often limit the amount of time available to cultivate and prepare diverse foods, resulting in poorer diets for the whole family.

Chronic hunger limits the body's ability to convert energy into work, weakening people physically and leaving them feeling hopeless and unmotivated. Not surprisingly, the undernourished have difficulty both finding work and being productive.


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