From energy deficit to surplus – Where do we stand? Where do we go?

28. January 2019.

Did you know?

  • Worldwide, malnutrition is the number one risk factor for sickness and deaths – greater than the risks of unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use taken together¹.
  • Of the world’s population, one person in three is malnourished, i.e. either undernourished (dietary energy deficit), overweight or obese (dietary energy surplus), or micronutrient deficient².
  • Undernutrition affects a staggering 25% of the world’s children and 10% of the overall population¹.
  • Of all children under the age of five, 23% (155 million) are stunted or chronically undernourished (low height-for-age), and 8% (52 million) are wasted or moderately acutely malnourished (low weight-for-age)¹, whereas 6% (41 million) are overweight² ³.
  • Among the world’s adult population, 39% are overweight and 13% are obese³, and more than 50 % of the world’s obese live in the following 8 countries: USA, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, and Germany².
  • The global prevalence of overweight and obesity is on the rise and, already now, more people are obese than underweight³.
  • Although the worldwide hunger rate has fallen in the past 25 years, no country has ever successfully reversed growth of obesity once it has been allowed to develop².

These are the hard facts worldwide – now where do you stand in your own life? Let’s talk about it!

Dr. Katarina Melzer


  1. Global Panel  on  Agriculture  and  Food  Systems  for  Nutrition.  2016.  Food  systems  and  diets: Facing the challenges of the 21st century. London, UK.
  2. HLPE. 2017. Nutrition and food systems. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security Rome.
  3. WHO. Obesity and overweight. Key facts. (accessed Dec 21, 2018).