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Hidden Hunger Crisis, Experts Remind Balanced Nutrition is Essential

by Julie Howard

Hidden hunger refers to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies. In the long run, you may fall into the predicament of lack of 8 essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin D, which will lead to an imbalance in the body’s immunity, including burnout, anxiety, lack of resistance, fatigue, constipation, osteoporosis, heart disease, and internal inflammation. 

Take a balanced intake of the six major types of food every day, try to eat authentic food, and avoid excessive processing. (Photo via Unsplash.com)

Boston, MA (Merxwire) – Obesity is a common problem worldwide. The World Obesity Federation estimates that 800 million people worldwide are obese. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 out of every four adults is obese. Does eating more mean adequate nutrition? According to the World Obesity Federation Of the World Health Organization, 2 billion people worldwide suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies, commonly known as “hidden hunger.”

What exactly is “hidden hunger”? It is “chronic vitamin and mineral deficiency.” According to the definition of the World Health Organization, “hidden hunger” refers to the lack of two nutrients, the first is vitamins and the second is minerals. The typical “hidden hunger” includes the lack of iron, calcium, zinc, and other trace elements and vitamins A, B, C, D, and other vitamins. At present, more than 1/4 of the world’s population has such a problem because it does not directly cause health problems, and many people do not even know that their bodies are deficient in nutrition.

Micronutrients are essential for growing children to eat a balanced diet to avoid the hidden need. (Photo via Unsplash.com)

According to a study published in The Lancet Global Health journal, some 372 million preschool children and 120 million women of reproductive age are deficient in at least one micronutrient. The damage caused by these micronutrient deficiencies may not be apparent initially but can eventually have health effects. For example, iron deficiency, vitamin A, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B 12, vitamin D, and iodine can lead to congenital disabilities, blindness, stunted growth, cognitive impairment, poor academic performance, and decreased work productivity. Women of childbearing age (15-49 years old), pregnant and lactating women, and young children have a greater demand for micronutrients and are particularly vulnerable to micronutrient insufficiency during this period.

In addition, micronutrient deficiencies are highest in low-income countries. Because their diet lacks rich and varied foods, they rely solely on rice, wheat, corn, or staple foods. In several South Asia and sub-Saharan African countries, 90 percent of women suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.

However, “hidden hunger” is more likely to occur in high-income countries. For example, one-third to one-half of women of reproductive age are deficient in one or more micronutrients in the United States and the United Kingdom. The reason may be related to refined diets, consuming too many heavily processed but micronutrient-poor foods rather than relying on a single staple food, as in many low-income countries.

Modern people have an excessively refined diet and must pay attention to the problem of hidden hunger. (Photo via Unsplash.com)

Avoiding hidden hunger is simple. People often talk about nutritional balance as the most important thing. A balanced intake of six types of food should be taken every day: whole grains, dairy products, beans, fish, eggs, meat, vegetables, fruits, oils, and nut seeds. Because the nutrients provided by each type of food are different, they have other functions, and daily intake can maintain normal body functions.

In addition, please pay attention to selecting fresh ingredients and cooking methods with less oil to reduce the loss of nutrients in the elements themselves.

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