Wednesday, July 11, 2012

World Population: America Significantly Outweighs Asia

As the West frets about population growth in the developing world on World Population Day today,  it's also important to understand the impact of growing obesity on the planet.

Asia has 61 per cent of the world's population but only 13 per cent of the world's weight. In contrast, Americans make up only five per cent of the world's population but account for a third of the world's weight due to obesity, according to a recently published research paper.

 The researchers calculated the average global body weight at 137 pounds, but in North America the average was 178 pounds, while in Asia it was 57.7kg (127lb). In their report, the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine worked out the weight of the global population at 287 million tonnes. They estimate that 15 million tons of this mass is due to people being overweight, and 3.5 million tons due to obesity.




The researchers found that Americans and Arabs are among the heaviest while Asians and sub-Saharan Africans are the lightest in weight.  It takes only 12.2 Americans to add up to a ton of weight while it takes 20.2 Bangladeshis to equal a ton of weight. The top ten heaviest include US (12.2) , Kuwait (12.19), Croatia (13.1), Qatar (13.0), Egypt (13.5), UAE (13.2), Trinidad & Tobago (13.8), Argentina (13.8), Greece (13.3) and Bahrain (13.6). The lightest include North Korea (19.0), Cambodia (17.9), Burundi (18.5), Nepal (19.8), Congo (18.7), Bangladesh (20.2), Sri Lanka (19.8), Ethiopia (18.9), Vietnam (19.7) and Eritrea (19.2).  Indians and Pakistanis do not show up in either of the two groups.

 In terms of average BMI (Body Mass Index), Pakistanis and Chinese are at 23, Indians 21 and Bangladeshis 20.5, all within normal range of 18.5 to 24.9. The average values of BMI for Europe, Middle East and North and South America are much higher.


One of the authors of the paper, Professor Ian Roberts, told the BBC: "When people think about environmental sustainability, they immediately focus on population. Actually, when it comes down to it, it’s not how many mouths there are to feed, it is how much flesh there is on the planet." "If every country in the world had the same level of fatness that we see in the USA, in weight terms that would be like an extra billion people of world average body mass," he added.

Source: Wall Street Journal
“We do not move our bodies so much but we are biologically programmed to eat,” Roberts told the Daily Telegraph. "We often point the finger at poor women in Africa having too many babies. But we've also got to think of this fatness thing; it's part of the same issue of exceeding our planetary limits."

 Americans are beginning to recognize and respond to the obesity epidemic by promoting healthier alternatives to fattening fast foods in school lunches and by encouraging greater physical activity. Unfortunately, Asians are moving in the opposite direction. Recent launch of Fatburger chain of restaurants in Pakistan is just one symptom of the rapid growth of American sugared drinks and fast food in Asian nations.

Given the fact that South Asians are known to be genetically predisposed to obesity-related diseases like diabetes and heart diseases, the growth of American fast food in Asia could spell disaster. It's time for the local health officials to start tackling obesity before it becomes an epidemic further straining the already inadequate and overburdened health care systems in India and Pakistan.

Here's a video of a recent TV discussion on population:


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Rising Population & Depleting Resources

Music Drives Coke Sales in Pakistan

FMCG Consumption Boom in Pakistan

Disease Burdens in India and Pakistan

Health Risks Rising- Bunge in Pakistan

15 comments:

Pavan said...

So the rest of the world with 39% of population and 87% weight could be consuming approximately eight times the food? Based on weight to population ratio.

Riaz Haq said...

Pavan: "So the rest of the world with 39% of population and 87% weight could be consuming approximately eight times the food? Based on weight to population ratio."

The difference in daily food intake is about 500 calories per capita, 2400 in Asia vs 2900 in America & Europe. The non-Asians, particularly Western nations, also consume more resources per capita in general at least partly due to their larger weight.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent news report on underweight and stunted children in South Asia:

Of all South Asian nations, Sri Lanka has the lowest number of underweight and stunted children, World Bank’s South Asia Region Human Development Unit’s senior nutrition specialist Nkosinathi Mbuya said.

He said 22 percent of Sri Lankan children aged up to five, are underweight while the prevalence rates of underweight children are 33 percent in Afghanistan, 41 percent in Bangladesh, 43 percent in India, 39 percent in Nepal and 31 percent in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, 18 percent of Sri Lankan children aged up to five are stunted while it is 59 percent in Afghanistan, 43 percent in Bangladesh, 48 percent in India, 49 percent in Nepal and 42 percent in Pakistan. However, the stunting levels in tea estates are the highest (42 percent). Hence the government should intervene to improve nutrition levels in children, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women in tea estates through community-based nutrition programmes targetting these areas, Mbuya said. He also praised the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to establish the National Nutrition Council in Sri Lanka.

“The President and the government should be praised for their assistance in eradicating malnutrition among children. Sri Lanka is the only country which has such a Council. It is the one and only institution chaired by the head of state in the entire world,” Mbuya said. Making a special presentation on the challenges of nutrition in South Asia at the South Asia Journalists’ Nutrition Workshop on the theme ‘reporting on nutrition’, in Kathmandu, Nepal recently, Mbuya said exclusive breastfeeding, proper complementary feeding and maternal nutrition are the main causes for decline in child malnutrition.

“This approach would facilitate healthy growth and development,” he said.

The workshop was convened by the World Bank and facilitated by Thomson-Reuters.


http://www.dailynews.lk/2012/06/27/news02.asp

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on Pakistan's rising food & clothing consumption:

Pakistanis are increasingly spending more and more money on food and clothing, and it is not just because prices are rising: the data now shows that they are buying higher volumes, particularly in food.

In an analysis conducted by The Express Tribune using data generated by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, it is becoming increasingly evident that even though prices of food and clothing have skyrocketed over the past decade, the ability of most Pakistanis to keep buying has – for the most part – kept pace (though for some income groups, that has come at the expense of their ability to save).

Between 2002 and 2011, food prices have increased at an average rate of about 11.2%. Spending on food, however, has risen by over 12% per year during that same period. That may not sound like much of a difference, but that means that the average household consumes 6.8% more food than it did a decade ago. Factor in the fact that the average household size has declined during that time and one gets the following statistic: the average Pakistani consumed 17.2% more food in 2011 than they did in 2002.

This massive expansion of food consumption, meanwhile, has fuelled a boom in the sector. Food companies listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange saw their revenues more than double between 2006 and 2010. During that same period, their pre-tax profits more than tripled.

An increased sign of prosperity is also the fact that Pakistanis now buy more meat: expenditure on meat, fish and poultry now constitutes about 10% of all spending on food, up from 9.3% a decade ago. The fastest rise has been in poultry. Pakistanis have increased their per capita consumption of chicken by about 130% during this past decade. This is despite the fact that prices of chicken have shot up 120% during that same period.

It is this dual expansion of per capita consumption and prices that has resulted in the more visible competition among food companies to advertise their products to consumers.

The story in clothing and footwear expenditures is also interesting. The difference in total spending and price rises, at first glance does not appear to be much. Between 2002 and 2011, spending on clothes and footwear rose by 7.4% per year, while prices rose by 7.2% per year. Yet, given the decrease in household size, the per capita volume of clothes bought by Pakistanis increased by nearly 11% during that period.

The fortunes of clothing companies have similarly soared. Between 2006 and 2010, the local sales revenues of clothing manufacturers listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange jumped by an average of 29% per year, much faster than even their own export sales, which rose by about 22% per year during that period. Profits have more than quadrupled during that time.
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There has also been a very significant change in buying behaviour: the fastest increase in demand has been for readymade clothing, with a decline in the relative importance of tailored clothes. The average demand for such clothes has increased by an astonishing 81% during the past decade, which suggests that far more Pakistani consumers prefer the convenience of buying off the rack rather than spending time haggling with tailors.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/414820/food-and-clothing-prices-keep-rising-but-consumption-rises-faster/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on rising obesity in Pakistan:

KARACHI: The obesity is an emerging challenge to human well-being like other parts of the world, it was also on the increase in Pakistan.



The overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths.



The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates suggest that 26 percent of women and 19 percent of men in Pakistan are obese. Women are 2-3 times more likely to be obese.Childhood obesity is increasing with an estimated value of 10 percent.



This was stated by Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University.



He was delivering a lecture on Wednesday at the 4th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research being held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS).



Over 350 scientists, including 35 scientists from 24 countries, are attending the international event, organised by Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi.



Dr. Iqbal said that obesity had become a serious health problem worldwide, which is a result of an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure; the molecular cascade involves in obesity and associated disorders are not fully understood.



Proliferation of adipocytes plays an important role in the onset and progression of obesity, he added.



`Obesity has been linked to several serious health ailments like heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer.



Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer; once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low and middle-income countries.



Overweight and obesity are largely preventable; the intake of healthier foods, and regular physical activity are easiest ways to prevent obesity, he said.



There is an urgent need to have R&D programme in the field of anti-obesity drug discovery and development, he urged, saying that the fundamental causes of obesity are an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and a decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization.



Talking about the multi-drug-resistant pathogens, he said that a rapid decline in research and development on new antibiotics coincides with increasing frequency of infections caused by multi-drug-resistant pathogens.



The key reason of bacterial resistance is the indiscriminate of suboptimal use of antibiotics. During the last three days of the symposium, various lectures of the national and international scientists were held on different scientific issues.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-83095-Obesity-on-the-increase-in-Pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a WSJ report on Mexican surpassing US in obesity:

MEXICO CITY—Congress's lower house of Congress passed late Thursday a special tax on junk food that is seen as potentially the broadest of its kind, part of an ambitious Mexican government effort to contain runaway rates of obesity and diabetes.

The House passed the proposed measure to charge a 5% tax on packaged food that contains 275 calories or more per 100 grams, on grounds that such high-calorie items typically contain large amounts of salt and sugar and few essential nutrients.

The tax, which was proposed just this week, is sure to stir controversy among big Mexican and foreign food companies that operate here. It comes on top of another planned levy on sugary soft drinks of 1 peso (8 U.S. cents) per liter that was passed by the same committee, an effort that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg supported.

Enlarge Image


The taxes—both aimed at curbing consumption—have broad political support and were expected to later be approved by the Senate as part of a sweeping tax overhaul. The snack food levy is part of a bigger tax proposal from President Enrique Peña Nieto which aims to raise the government's non-oil tax collections.

The taxes would put Mexico, a country notorious for its love of sweets, fried foods and pastries, on the cutting edge of government efforts to cut obesity rates.

"This appears to be the most aggressive strategy anywhere in the world in recent years to improve diets via tax disincentives," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington.

Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, called Mexico a role model, saying that the measures could protect the health of consumers while also shielding the economy from productivity losses and runaway public health costs.

Seven of 10 adults in Mexico, and a third of children, are either overweight or obese. Mexicans have now surpassed Americans for the title of the fattest country in the OECD, according to the organization.

Enlarge Image

A Mexico City street food vendor selling packaged items Thursday. Laurence Iliff

All that fat has contributed to an alarming rise in chronic illnesses like adult-onset Type 2 diabetes, which afflicts an estimated 15% of Mexicans over the age of 20, the highest rate for any country with more than 100 million inhabitants. Illnesses related to excess weight cost the Mexican public health system more than $3 billion a year, according to the legislation.

On virtually every street corner in Mexico, makeshift stands sell the types of packaged items that will be taxed for the first time: potato chips, cookies, ice cream, fried corn chips, chocolates, candy, puddings and local sweets.

"We're a country of malnourished fatsos," José Antonio Álvarez Lima, a former state governor turned newspaper columnist told Mexican political news website Animal Politico. He pegged part of the blame for Mexico's high consumption of soda and snacks on incessant TV advertisements and poor education.

Mexico is Latin America's biggest consumer per-capita of sweet and savory snacks, and the world's top consumer of pastries, according to Euromonitor International, a consultancy.

Those habits have helped turn Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo, the owner of U.S. brand Sara Lee, into a global leader in packaged foods. The country is also an enormous source of revenue for processed snack-making multinationals like PepsiCo Inc., owner of the popular Mexican potato chip maker Sabritas. Neither company responded to requests for comment.
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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304864504579141462546165166?mod=e2fb

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan 9th most obese country: #America at top, #China 2nd, #India 3rd in obese population Study http://tribune.com.pk/story/714845/pakistan-9th-most-obese-country-study/ … via @etribune


China and India, with much larger populations, trailed 2nd and 3rd in the top 10 obese countries with 46 million and 30 million people respectively, followed by Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan and Indonesia.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60460-8/fulltext

Riaz Haq said...

Poor Sanitation in India May Afflict Well-Fed Children With Malnutrition

So why was Vivek malnourished?

It is a question being asked about children across India, where a long economic boom has done little to reduce the vast number of children who are malnourished and stunted, leaving them with mental and physical deficits that will haunt them their entire lives. Now, an emerging body of scientific studies suggest that Vivek and many of the 162 million other children under the age of 5 in the world who are malnourished are suffering less a lack of food than poor sanitation.

Like almost everyone else in their village, Vivek and his family have no toilet, and the district where they live has the highest concentration of people who defecate outdoors. As a result, children are exposed to a bacterial brew that often sickens them, leaving them unable to attain a healthy body weight no matter how much food they eat.

“These children’s bodies divert energy and nutrients away from growth and brain development to prioritize infection-fighting survival,” said Jean Humphrey, a professor of human nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “When this happens during the first two years of life, children become stunted. What’s particularly disturbing is that the lost height and intelligence are permanent.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/world/asia/poor-sanitation-in-india-may-afflict-well-fed-children-with-malnutrition.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan fights #malnutrition with mass #food-fortifying program. #cereals #wheat #oil #ghee #fortification

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/sep/16/pakistan-fights-devastating-malnutrition-with-mass-food-fortifying-programme

UK aid funding supports ambitious project adding nutrients to everyday foods such as bread and oil, to reduce disastrous long-term impact of poor nutrition

A new programme of fortification of everyday foods such as bread and oil is being rolled out in Pakistan in an attempt to tackle chronic and widespread malnutrition.

The food fortification programme, which is backed with $48m (£36m) of funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), will see nutrients added directly to wheat flour, edible oils and ghee at source in mills and factories.

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The programme is aimed mainly at changing the health of women and children. Palmer says this is because of the disastrous long-term impact of poor health in mothers. “Stunting is inter-generational. If you are poor and your mother is stunted, it could take a few generations to iron out, which perpetuates inequalities.

“Recurrent and early childbearing reduces a woman’s nutritional status and there are taboos around women eating certain food. For example, they might be told they can’t eat much eggs or meat in pregnancy, which are foods that are rich in protein and iron that they need. Women may eat less nutritious food than other family members and they often can’t access healthcare.”

Joel Spicer, president of Micronutrient Initiative, which is working with Mott MacDonald, says the high levels of malnutrition are having a devastating impact on Pakistan’s development.

“Our work is taking place in the context of a malnutrition crisis in Pakistan, where nearly half of children are stunted and won’t be able to participate in the economy,” he says. “Stunted kids are at a disadvantage cognitively as well as often being the height of a child two or even four years younger. If a child doesn’t get [enough] nutrition in the first 1,000 days, their brain and immune system don’t develop.

“When these children become adults they are more susceptible to communicable diseases, they are generating less money for their families – and the overall net effect on GDP is 3% a year for Pakistan. So it is a much cheaper problem to fix than to allow to continue.”

Fortification of cereals directly at source, where they are produced, is done in almost 90 countries worldwide. Similar tactics have been used successfully in Jordan and Iran in recent years.

Spicer says the project is an ambitious one. “We are aiming to work with over a thousand mills directly as well as around 100 oil producers. That is why [this project] is so exciting – it will reach 57% of the population through wheat flour and 72% through ghee, in a country with some of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world.”

Spicer believes the world could do more to tackle the issue of child malnutrition. Globally, one in four children still suffers from stunting even though levels of hunger have fallen by a third in the past 15 years.

“We estimate that $2bn a year in funding would prevent 50 million children from stunting. But the world spends $14.5bn a day on energy subsidies, so you have to conclude that malnutrition is a political choice.”

In June, Save the Children warned that little progress has been made on curbing malnutrition, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. Rates have actually increased since 2000 in 13 countries, including Papua New Guinea and Eritrea.

Launching the project, the head of DfID Pakistan, Joanna Reid, said: “Food fortification is a safe, cost-effective way of decreasing micronutrient deficiencies. That is why the British people, through UK aid, are investing in the food fortification programme. We believe that this programme will benefit millions in Pakistan.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Americans among world's laziest, people in #China and #HongKong among most #active in number of steps per day. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2017/07/12/u-s-among-worlds-laziest-countries-and-its-making-us-fat/471332001/ …

Many Americans are downright lazy. And it’s making us fat.

That’s among the findings of a study by Stanford University researchers using step-counters installed in most smartphones to track the walking activity of about 700,000 people in 46 countries around the world.

Scott Delp, a professor of bioengineering who co-led the research, told the BBC the “study is 1,000 times larger than any previous study on human movement.”

The least lazy, according to the study published in the journal Nature, are the Chinese, particularly those in Hong Kong, where people averaged 6,880 a steps a day.

The worst nation was nearby Indonesia, where people walked nearly half as much, averaging 3,513 steps a day. The worldwide average is 4,961 steps, with Americans averaging 4,774. (See chart below for full results of the survey.)

Does that mean Indonesians are much more likely to be obese than Americans? No, the researchers say. The key is the variation in the amount of walking.

In countries with less obesity, the Stanford researchers say, people typically walked a similar amount every day. In nations with higher rates of obesity, there were larger gaps between those who walked a lot and those who walked very little.

Among those latter countries is the United States, where “activity inequality” ranks Americans fourth from the bottom overall.

“If you think about some people in a country as ‘activity rich’ and others as ‘activity poor,’ the size of the gap between them is a strong indicator of obesity levels in that society,” Delp told the Stanford news site.

Tim Althoff, who worked on the study, pointed to Sweden, with an average of 5,863 steps, as having one of the smallest activity inequality gaps. “It also had one of the lowest rates of obesity,” he said.

Another factor in activity inequality involved where people live: high-density cities or more suburban settings.

Jennifer Hicks, another researcher in the study, told the Stanford news site that they examined three California cities located close to one another – San Francisco, San Jose and Fremont. They found San Francisco held both the highest walkability score and the lowest level of activity inequality.

“In cities that are more walkable, everyone tends to take more daily steps, whether male or female, young or old, healthy weight or obese,” Hicks said.


Riaz Haq said...

Rising #Diabetes in #Pakistan. Pak ranked 3rd with 33 million cases after #China & #India. In terms of percentage of adults, Pakistan had the highest diabetes prevalence in 2021 at 30.8%, followed by #French #Polynesia (25.2%) and #Kuwait (24.9%) https://p.dw.com/p/455ZZ?maca=en-Twitter-sharing

Health experts in Pakistan have expressed grave concerns over surging cases of diabetes in the South Asian nation, warning that the situation could spiral out of control if the government fails to take immediate action.

A recent report from the International Diabetic Federation (IDF) ranking the world's top countries for number of adults (20–79 years) with diabetes in 2021 has put Pakistan in third place with a total of 33 million, after China and India.

The IDF ranked Pakistan first place for having the highest comparative diabetes prevalence rate in 2021 at 30.8%, followed by French Polynesia (25.2%) and Kuwait (24.9%).

Pakistan is also the country with the highest proportion of deaths under the age of 60 due to diabetes, with 35.5%

The IDF found that a further 11 million adults in Pakistan have Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), which puts them at higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

The report noted that more than a quarter (26.9%) of adults living with diabetes in Pakistan are undiagnosed.

The findings made headlines across Pakistani media. Health experts have called on the government to inject more funds into its national health budget to combat the problem.

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The Pakistani government is paying attention to the diabetes health crisis, reassures Senator Sana Jamali, a member of the Senate National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Committee. Islamabad is making efforts to tackle the problem, Jamali told DW.

"The prime minister has recently launched health insurance cards in Punjab, which will go a long way in reducing diabetic cases besides making treatment easy for poor people," she said.

But according to Jamali, the government cannot solve the country's health problem alone.

"Unless people change their lifestyle and dietary habits, this problem will continue to haunt us and millions of more people will suffer from it," she maintained, adding that more awareness of the disease needs to be raised nationwide.

Riaz Haq said...

Long known as a country of malnourished, underweight people, it has broken into the top five countries in terms of obesity in the past few years.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-61558119

One estimate in 2016 put 135 million Indians as overweight or obese. That number, health experts say, has been growing rapidly and the country's undernourished population is being replaced by an overweight one.

According to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the most comprehensive household survey of health and social indicators by the government, nearly 23% of men and 24% of women were found to have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more - a 4% increase for both genders over 2015-16. The data also shows that 3.4% of children under five are now overweight compared with 2.1% in 2015-16.

"We are in an obesity epidemic in India and globally, and I fear it could soon become a pandemic if we don't address it soon," warns Dr Ravindran Kumeran, a surgeon in the southern city of Chennai (Madras) and founder of the Obesity Foundation of India.

Dr Kumeran blames sedentary lifestyles and the easy availability of cheap, fattening foods as the main reasons why "most of us, particularly in urban India, are now out of shape".

BMI, which is calculated by taking an individual's height and weight into account, is the most accepted measure globally to classify people into "normal", "overweight", "obese" and "morbidly obese". According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a BMI of 25 or above is considered overweight.

But Dr Kumeran and many other health experts believe that for South Asian populations, it needs to be adjusted at least two points lower at each stage because we are prone to "central obesity", which means that we easily put on belly fat, and that's more unhealthy than weight anywhere else on the body. This would mean that an Indian with a BMI of 23 would be overweight.

"If you take 23 as the cut-off point for overweight, I think half the population of India - certainly the urban population - would be overweight," says Dr Kumeran.

According to WHO, too much body fat increases the risk of non-communicable diseases, including 13 types of cancer, type-2 diabetes, heart problems and lung conditions. And last year, obesity accounted for 2.8 million deaths globally.

Dr Pradeep Chowbey, former president of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (Ifso), says "every 10kg of extra weight reduces life by three years. So, if someone is overweight by 50kg, they might end up losing 15 years of life. We also saw that mortality during Covid was three times higher for overweight and obese patients."

Riaz Haq said...

Geographical and socioeconomic inequalities in the double burden of malnutrition among women in Southeast Asia: A population-based study


https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lansea/article/PIIS2772-3682(22)00007-5/fulltext

The prevalence of underweight women ranged from 7.0% (95% CI: 7.0-8.0%) in Pakistan in 2017 to 44.0% (95% CI: 42-45%) in Bangladesh in 2000 and overweight from 11.0% (95% CI: 10-12%) in Bangladesh in 2000 to 67.0% (95% CI: 66-68%) in Pakistan in 2017. In most countries, underweight disproportionately affected the poorest. The concentration indices for underweight were significant in all countries and ranged from –0.04 in Cambodia in 2014 to –0.38 in Pakistan in 2017. In contrast, overweight disproportionately affected the richest, with concentration indices for overweight significant in all countries, ranging from 0.16 in Cambodia in 2010 to 0.45 in Bangladesh in 2007. In most of the countries an absolute measure of inequality decreased overtime, whereas relative measures increased. Disachievement of underweight is more pronounced in rural populations compared to the urban ones.


Results
Data from 933,836 women from seven countries in South and Southeast Asia were analyzed in this study (Table 1). The majority of the sample came from India (n = 699,686), followed by Bangladesh (n = 68,685), and Nepal (n = 45,055). The highest proportion of women in the richest quintile (29.7%) was found in Cambodia in 2014, and the lowest was found in Bangladesh in 2007 (16.1%).
Table 1General characteristics of the study population.
Country Year Total sample, n Mean age ± SD, y Lowest household wealth quintile, % Highest household wealth quintile, %
Bangladesh 2014 17,863 31.0 ± 9.2 18.2 21.6
Bangladesh 2011 17,842 30.8 ± 9.2 17.4 23.5
Bangladesh 2007 10,996 30.6 ± 9.3 16.1 26.7
Bangladesh 2004 11,440 30.0 ± 9.4 17.9 25.5
Bangladesh 2000 10,544 29.7 ± 9.3 18.2 25.3
Nepal 2016 53,848 29.4 ± 9.5 21.2 17.8
Nepal 2011 12,674 28.7 ± 9.6 19.3 24.3
Nepal 2006 10,793 28.6 ± 9.7 20.5 21.7
Nepal 2001 8726 30.8 ± 9.0 22.5 21.3
India 2016 699,686 29.8 ± 9.7 19.0 18.8
Myanmar 2016 12,885 31.6 ± 9.8 18.4 20.9
Pakistan 2017 15,068 32.3 ± 8.3 19.2 20.6
Pakistan 2013 13,558 32.6 ± 8.5 18.3 23.9
Timor Leste 2016 12,607 28.7 ± 10.0 16.3 21.3
Timor Leste 2009 13,137 28.6 ± 10.0 19.4 19.0
Cambodia 2014 17,578 30.1 ± 9.8 17.4 29.7
Cambodia 2014 18,754 29.5 ± 10.1 17.4 28.6
Cambodia 2005 16,823 29.6 ± 10.2 19.4 23.0
Pooled 933,836 29.9 ± 9.7 18.91 19.93
Open table in a new tab
Geographic variation in the prevalence of women underweight and overweight
The pooled prevalence of women underweight and overweight in the South and Southeast Asian region was 22% (95% CI: 19-24%) and 29 % (95 CI: 25-33%) respectively (Figure 1) with variation found by country and year for both. Women underweight ranged from 7.0% (95% CI: 7.0-8.0%) in Pakistan in 2017 to 44% (95% CI: 42-45%) in Bangladesh in 2000. Women overweight ranged from 11% (95% CI: 10-12%) in Bangladesh in 2000 to 67% (95% CI: 66-68%) in Pakistan in 2017. The highest prevalence of underweight was observed in Bangladesh in 2000 (44%) and overweight/obesity observed in Pakistan in 2017 (67%) (Figure 1). Decreasing trends in underweight and increasing trends in overweight prevalence over this period were also found within countries for which numerous time point data were available, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Timor-Leste, and Cambodia (Figure 1). For example, in Bangladesh in 2000 the prevalence of women underweight was 44%, with this decreasing to 19% in 2014 (Figure 1). Conversely, the overweight/obesity prevalence of women in Bangladesh was 11% in 2004, with this increasing to 40% in 2014.

Riaz Haq said...

Our total consumption of wheat and atta is about 125kg per capita per year. Our per person per day calorie intake has risen from about 2,078 in 1949-50 to 2,400 in 2001-02 and 2,580 in 2020-21

By Riaz Riazuddin former deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.


https://www.dawn.com/news/1659441/consumption-habits-inflation

As households move to upper-income brackets, the share of spending on food consumption falls. This is known as Engel’s law. Empirical proof of this relationship is visible in the falling share of food from about 48pc in 2001-02 for the average household. This is an obvious indication that the real incomes of households have risen steadily since then, and inflation has not eaten up the entire rise in nominal incomes. Inflation seldom outpaces the rise in nominal incomes.

Coming back to eating habits, our main food spending is on milk. Of the total spending on food, about 25pc was spent on milk (fresh, packed and dry) in 2018-19, up from nearly 17pc in 2001-01. This is a good sign as milk is the most nourishing of all food items. This behaviour (largest spending on milk) holds worldwide. The direct consumption of milk by our households was about seven kilograms per month, or 84kg per year. Total milk consumption per capita is much higher because we also eat ice cream, halwa, jalebi, gulab jamun and whatnot bought from the market. The milk used in them is consumed indirectly. Our total per person per year consumption of milk was 168kg in 2018-19. This has risen from about 150kg in 2000-01. It was 107kg in 1949-50 showing considerable improvement since then.

Since milk is the single largest contributor in expenditure, its contribution to inflation should be very high. Thanks to milk price behaviour, it is seldom in the news as opposed to sugar and wheat, whose price trend, besides hurting the poor is also exploited for gaining political mileage. According to PBS, milk prices have risen from Rs82.50 per litre in October 2018 to Rs104.32 in October 2021. This is a three-year rise of 26.4pc, or per annum rise of 8.1pc. Another blessing related to milk is that the year-to-year variation in its prices is much lower than that of other food items. The three-year rise in CPI is about 30pc, or an average of 9.7pc per year till last month. Clearly, milk prices have contributed to containing inflation to a single digit during this period.

Next to milk is wheat and atta which constitute about 11.2pc of the monthly food expenditure — less than half of milk. Wheat and atta are our staple food and their direct consumption by the average household is 7kg per capita (84kg per capita per year). As we also eat naan from the tandoors, bread from bakeries etc, our indirect consumption of wheat and atta is 41kg per capita. Our total consumption of wheat and atta is about 125kg per capita per year. Our per person per day calorie intake has risen from about 2,078 in 1949-50 to 2,400 in 2001-02 and 2,580 in 2020-21. The per capita per day protein intake in grams increased from 63 to 67 to about 75 during these years. Does this indicate better health? To answer this, let us look at how we devour ghee and sugar. Also remember that each person requires a minimum of 2,100 calories and 60g of protein per day.

Undoubtedly, ghee, cooking oil and sugar have a special place in our culture. We are familiar with Urdu idioms mentioning ghee and shakkar. Two relate to our eating habits. We greet good news by saying ‘Aap kay munh may ghee shakkar’, which literally means that may your mouth be filled with ghee and sugar. We envy the fortune of others by saying ‘Panchon oonglian ghee mei’ (all five fingers immersed in ghee, or having the best of both worlds). These sayings reflect not only our eating trends, but also the inflation burden of the rising prices of these three items — ghee, cooking oil and sugar. Recall any wedding dinner. Ghee is floating in our plates.

Riaz Haq said...

‘Diet of Average Indian Lacks Protein, Fruit, Vegetables’
On average, the Indian total calorie intake is approximately 2,200 kcals per person per day, 12 per cent lower than the EAT-Lancet reference diet's recommended level.

https://www.india.com/lifestyle/diet-of-average-indian-lacks-protein-fruit-vegetables-4066766/

Compared to an influential diet for promoting human and planetary health, the diets of average Indians are considered unhealthy comprising excess consumption of cereals, but not enough consumption of proteins, fruits and vegetables, said a new study.Also Read - Autistic Pride Day 2020: Diet Rules For Kids With Autism

The findings by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and CGIAR research program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) broadly apply across all states and income levels, underlining the challenges many Indians face in obtaining healthy diets. Also Read - Vitamin K Rich Food: Include These Items in Your Daily Diet to Avoid Uncontrolled Bleeding

“The EAT-Lancet diet is not a silver bullet for the myriad nutrition and environmental challenges food systems currently present, but it does provide a useful guide for evaluating how healthy and sustainable Indian diets are,” said the lead author of the research article, A4NH Program Manager Manika Sharma. Also Read - Experiencing Hair Fall? Include These Super-foods in Your Daily Diet ASAP

“At least on the nutrition front we find Indian diets to be well below optimal.”

The EAT-Lancet reference diet, published by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health, implies that transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food wastage is critical to feed a future population of 10 billion a healthy diet within planetary boundaries.

While the EAT-Lancet reference diet recommends eating large shares of plant-based foods and little to no processed meat and starchy vegetables, the research demonstrates that incomes and preferences in India are driving drastically different patterns of consumption.