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Inequality worsens hunger, malnutrition in Latin America, Caribbean

IANS 

Rome, Nov 8 (IANS/AKI) Hunger, malnutrition, lack of micronutrients, overweight and have greater impact on people with lower income, women, indigenous people, Afro-descendants and rural families in and the Caribbean, a new UN report has said.

of and Security 2018 report focuses on the close linkages between economic and social inequality and the higher levels of hunger, and of the most vulnerable populations of the region.

According to the report, published on Wednesday, in Latin America, 8.4 per cent of women live in severe insecurity, compared to 6.9 per cent of men, while indigenous populations generally suffer insecurity than non-indigenous people. In ten countries, children from the poorest 20 per cent of households suffer three times more stunting than the richest 20 per cent.

indicates that one of the main causes of the rise of in vulnerable population groups are the changes that the region's - the cycle of food from production to consumption - have undergone.

These changes have affected the entire population, but the most excluded members of society have suffered the worst effects; while many have increased their consumption of healthy foods such as milk and meat, often they must opt for cheap products with high fat, sugar and salt content.

To respond to growing malnutrition, the (FAO), the Pan American Organization (PAHO), the Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the (WFP), call on countries to implement public policies that combat inequality and promote

has become the greatest nutritional threat in and the Nearly one in four adults is obese. Overweight affects 7.3 per cent (3.9 million) of children under 5 years of age, a figure that exceeds the world average of 5.6 per cent, report indicates.

"Obesity is growing uncontrollably. Each year we are adding 3.6 million obese people to this region. 250 million people live with overweight, 60 percent of the regional population. The situation is appalling," said FAO's Regional

"Although undernourishment persists in the region, particularly in vulnerable populations, we must also consider obesity and overweight, which also affect these groups. A multisectoral approach is needed, one that ensures access to balanced and healthy foods while addressing other social factors that also impact on these forms of malnutrition, such as access to education, water and sanitation, and services", said Carissa F. Etienne, of PAHO/WHO.

"We must advance access to so that all people can receive the care and prevention measures they need due to and its long-term consequences", she added.

"Gender equity is a valuable policy instrument to reduce inequalities We need to strengthen it in practice, which involves promoting equality in access and control of household resources, as well as in decisions to empower women in inequality", said Miguel Barreto, of WFP for and the

--IANS/AKI

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 07:32 IST
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