African Research Review

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The Paradox of Malnutrition in Developing Countries

D Vonke


This paper investigates the paradox of malnutrition- the coexistence of both under and over-nutrition in developing countries, particularly over-nutrition. Secondary data is being analyzed descriptively. The data reveals the prevalence of hunger or under-nutrition and chronic diseases related to over-nutrition (overweight or obesity) in developing countries. This is basically due to poverty on one hand and the nutrition transition on the other hand. Even though the incidence of chronic diseases is higher in high income countries, the burden is more on low and middle-income countries. Poverty eradication efforts need to be intensified so as to combat hunger. Overweight/obesity as well as the related chronic diseases are largely preventable, preventive measures such as reducing the intake of saturated fat and increasing the consumption of unsaturated fat, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables and also the need for appropriate laws to regulate both national/international food industries so that their processing, labeling and marketing of food do not fuel chronic diseases, are recommended among others.

Key Words: Developing Countries, Malnutrition, Under-nutrition, Overnutrition, Overweight/Obesity, Chronic Diseases.
AJOL African Journals Online