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Consuming a healthy diet throughout the life course helps prevent undernutrition and overnutrition as well as a range of non-communicable diseases and conditions. The increased production and consumption of processed food, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles has led to a shift in dietary patterns. People are now consuming more foods high in energy, fats, sugars or salt/sodium, and many do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and sources of dietary fibre such as whole grains (WHO 2018).

Food insecurity and malnutrition are a worldwide problem with severe consequences for human health. Different forms of malnutrition including undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight co-exist in countries, families and even individuals. On a global scale, diet-related factors are the number one cause of disease (Lim et al. 2012).


Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, et al. 2012. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet 380: 2224–2260. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61766-8.

World Health Organization. (2018, October 23). Healthy diet. Retrieved from