WHY IN NEWS?
Key findings of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 report
- The FAO report has quoted a study done in 63 low- and middle-income countries covering a population of 3.5 billion on changes in the income of people. It has extrapolated its impact on choice of diets.
- Dip in people’s affordability of healthy food: There is a significant dip in people’s affordability for healthy food due to a loss in income. The pandemic led to an additional 141 million people being unable to afford a healthy diet in the countries studied.
- Loss of income & rise in food prices: The primary reason for a dip in affordability is the loss of income. But food price rise has made the situation more acute. By the end of 2020, global consumer food prices were the highest in six years. In the first four months of 2021, they continued to rise.
- Healthy diet costs more: Cost of a healthy diet was 60% more than a diet that just meets “requirements for essential nutrients” and almost five times as much as a diet that just meets “the minimum dietary energy needs through a starchy staple”.
- Lack of access to adequate and healthy food: In 2020, some 2.37 billion people couldn’t access adequate food, an increase of 320 million people in comparison to the 2019 figure. More people in 2020 were unable to afford a healthy diet in comparison to 2019.