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The State of Food and Agriculture 2013

Food Systems for Better Nutrition

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2013

Malnutrition in all its forms -- undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity -- imposes unacceptably high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels. This edition of The State of Food and Agriculture argues that improving nutrition and reducing these costs must begin with food and agriculture. The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but agriculture and the entire food system -- from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption -- can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition.

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Foreword

As the world debates the Post-2015 Development Agenda, we must strive for nothing less than the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. The social and economic costs of malnutrition are unconscionably high, amounting to perhaps $US3.5 trillion per year or $US500 per person globally. Maternal and child malnutrition still impose a larger burden than overweight and obesity, although the latter is increasing even in developing regions. The challenge for the global community, therefore, is to continue fighting hunger and undernutrition while preventing or reversing the emergence of obesity.

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