Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2019

Our actions are our future. Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World

world-food-dayGREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – World Food Day (WFD) was a day of action against chronic hunger and malnutrition and the 2019 theme is: “Our actions are our future. Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World.”

As part of the theme, a healthy diet is one that meets the nutritional needs of individuals by providing sufficient, safe, nutritious and diverse foods to lead an active life and reduce the risk of disease.

It includes, among others, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains, and foods that are low in fats (especially saturated fats), sugar and salt.

The United Nations (UN) Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WFD partners called on people to work more closely together to create opportunities so that everyone can lead a healthy and productive life.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says going forward, adopting a healthier diet, promoting the need to plant vegetable/fruit gardens or by supporting local food producers are actions that support and ensure the future. CPS reminds persons to read the labels on the food packages and/or containers, make healthy decisions; know about the food you eat; make sure your plate is balanced and is at the right size; make healthy choices, exercise; eat healthy, read your food labels, check expiration dates and wash your vegetables and fruits properly. Ensure a healthy weight as we work towards Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World, the future.

The FAO says that in recent decades, we have dramatically changed our diets and eating habits as a result of globalization, urbanization and income growth. “We have moved from seasonal, mainly plant-based and fibre-rich dishes to diets that are high in refined starches, sugar, fats, salt, processed foods, meat and other animal-source products. Less time is spent preparing meals at home, and consumers, especially in urban areas, increasingly rely on supermarkets, fast food outlets, street food vendors and takeaway restaurants.

“A combination of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles has sent obesity rates soaring, not only in developed countries but also in low-income countries, where hunger and obesity often coexist. Now over 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys (5-19 years) are obese, and over 40 million children under 5 are overweight, while over 820 million people suffer from hunger.

“An unhealthy diet is the leading risk factor for deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain cancers. Linked with one-fifth of deaths worldwide, unhealthy eating habits are also taking a toll on national health budgets costing up to USD 2 trillion per year.

“Obesity and other forms of malnutrition affect nearly one in three people. Projections indicate that the number will be one in two by 2025. The good news is that affordable solutions exist to reduce all forms of malnutrition, but they require greater global commitment and action,” the FAO said on the occasion of World Food Day.

Our actions are our future. Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World

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