Two billion people lack key micronutrients like iron and vitamin A worldwide. Another 2 billion adults are overweight or obese. 815 million people go to bed hungry each night. 88% of countries face a serious burden of either two or three forms of malnutrition.

An overview of the estimated percentage of people suffering from one of the 4 main micronutrient deficiencies worldwide is shown in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3

Table 2.3: Prevalence of vitamin A deficiency (1995-2005), iodine deficiency (2013), inadequate zinc intake (2005), and iron deficiency anaemia (2011). (Table copied from Black et al. 2013).

Young children and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable for malnutrition. Although the problem of micronutrient deficiencies affects more people in low- and middle-income countries, we also see problematic percentages of deficiencies in Europe, where iodine deficiency is even estimated to affect 44.2% of population.


Black RE, Victora CG, Walker SP, et al. 2013. Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet 382: 427–451. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60937-X.