Nutrition
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FAQ

What is the double burden of malnutrition?

What is the double burden of malnutrition?

A growing number of countries (e.g. South Africa, India, and Mexico) now shoulder a "double burden" of malnutrition, namely the rapid rise in obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases coexisting with undernutrition. Click here for more information.

What is the difference between wasting, stunting and underweight?

What is the difference between wasting, stunting and underweight?

Wasting, or acute malnutrition, is generally the result of weight loss associated with a recent period of starvation or disease, characterized by low weight for height.  Stunting, or chronic malnutrition, refers to a condition of low height for age, reflecting sustained and cumulated episodes of undernutrition and/or repeated infections. Underweight refers to a condition of low weight for age in children and of a Body Mass Index (BMI) >18.5 in adults. Click here for more information.

What is food security?

What is food security?

According to FAO’s definition, food security is a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to food of sufficient quantity and quality in terms of variety, diversity , nutrient content and safety to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Click here to learn more. 

What is food safety?

What is food safety?

Food safety is assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or is eaten according to its intended use. Food safety refers to potential hazardous agents or contaminants present in foods that can cause food borne illness. These agents can be biological (e.g. bacteria, viruses), chemical (e.g. pollutants such as mercury, pesticides, fertilizers or veterinary drugs at inappropriate levels) and physical (e.g. metal fragments, fish bones). Contamination may occur at any stage of the food chain, from field to fork.  Click here to learn more about food safety.

What are macronutrients?

What are macronutrients?

These are proteins, carbohydrates and fats required by the body in large amounts and available to be used for energy.

What are micronutrients?

What are micronutrients?

These are vitamins, minerals and other substances required by the body in small amounts. Adequate micronutrient intake is essential to ensure a good nutritional status and good health.

What is a person’s nutritional status?

What is a person’s nutritional status?

It is the physiological state of an individual that results from the relationship between nutrient requirement, nutrient intake, and utilization.

What is minimum dietary energy requirement (MDER)?

What is minimum dietary energy requirement (MDER)?

The MDER is the amount of energy needed for light activity and to maintain a minimum acceptable weight for height. The MDER varies by country and from year to year depending on population demographics. MDER is expressed as kilocalories per person per day. 

What is the difference between malnutrition and undernutrition?

What is the difference between malnutrition and undernutrition?

Malnutrition can be caused by eating too little, too much or an unbalanced diet that does not contain the right quantity and quality of nutrients necessary for adequate nutrition. Inadequate dietary intake and disease/infections which alter dietary requirements and the body’s ability to, absorb and utilize nutrients effectively, are immediate causes of malnutrition. Undernutrition exists when caloric intake is below the minimum dietary energy requirement (MDER).

What is “hidden hunger”?

What is “hidden hunger”?

Micronutrient deficiency or “hidden hunger” affects around 2 billion people, or about one third of the world’s population. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially for iron, iodine, zinc and vitamin A, can lead to poor physical growth and development, lowered mental capacity, reduced productivity, impaired immune function, blindness and death. The effects of micronutrient deficiencies are all preventable. Click here to learn how food based strategies can combat hidden hunger.