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It is time to think about the quality of food

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When facts change, so should strategies. Agricultural development, for example, faces radically different challenges today than it did only 70 years ago. Back then, when the Food and Agriculture Organization was founded, there was a lack of food in the world, and efforts focused on dramatically ramping up production to prevent mass starvation in many countries.

Today, we produce more than enough food to feed a larger global population -- and yet hunger has not been eradicated. It turned out that availability is not enough and that accessibility must be assured. That has been the focus of many social protection policies and programs set up for vulnerable rural people in recent years, part of an effort that must be completed.

Now we face new and complex nutrition problems. More than two billion people are overweight. A third of these (more than 670 million) are obese, a condition strongly associated with higher risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and even some forms of cancer.

Projections estimate that the number of obese people in the world will very soon overtake the number of people suffering from hunger, which accounted for 821 million in 2017. This has already happened in Latin America and the Caribbean.

While hunger persists in some areas, notably those most affected by conflicts and climate change, obesity knows no........

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