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893. Gaps and Challenges Revealed by Global Food and Nutrition Analysis

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893. Gaps and Challenges Revealed by Global Food and Nutrition Analysis

There are both undernutrition and overnutrition in the world today. In the context of agricultural production and nutrition, today we present an article that delves into the global food nutrition analysis presented by Wang et al. in their 2023 publication in Nature Food, highlighting the pressing gaps and challenges.

The global food system faces the daunting challenge of providing sufficient, nutritious and affordable food to all people at all times. A comparison of global agricultural production with the amount needed for a healthy diet shows that while the world is currently producing enough food, there are overconsumption and underconsumption of recommended amounts. This suggests an opportunity to improve the current situation of malnutrition and obesity.

The imbalance between recommended and actual dietary intakes leads to nutritional problems, which in turn lead to a range of concerns, including health problems and reduced economic performance. While there are a number of global and national goals aimed at alleviating these concerns, there is limited evidence supported by adequate data to promote policies to achieve these goals.

In this paper, a food production-consumption-nutrition model was used to quantify the food-based availability of 11 essential nutrients for 156 countries and to assess nutrient availability as a percentage of recommended intakes. In the base year of 2017, global per capita availability was adequate for calories and protein, severely deficient for vitamin A and calcium (intake ratio, <0.60; 1.0 is adequate), and moderately deficient for vitamin B12 (intake ratio, 0.76). At the national level, more than half of the respondents were deficient in all nine micronutrients to varying degrees, indicating very large regional and country differences.

The study also quantified the fact that not all agricultural products are available for human consumption due to non-food uses (e.g., seed and livestock feed), inedible parts (e.g., corn cobs and egg shells), and food losses. This quantification improves the accuracy of estimates of food available for human consumption and provides a framework for tracking progress toward healthier diets.

Because it is not currently feasible to provide an optimal diet for everyone on the planet, the project focuses on various aspects that can contribute to food security, taking into account local conditions, including efforts to reduce food loss, biofortification, nutritional supplements, and omics technology. The report also provides recommendations on how to contribute to the daunting challenge of food security from a variety of perspectives, taking into account local circumstances.


Komarek, A.M. Progress towards healthy diets remains slow. Nat Food (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00862-2
Wang, X., Dou, Z., Feng, S. et al. Global food nutrients analysis reveals alarming gaps and daunting challenges. Nat Food (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00851-5


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