Global Food Security Threat has inherited micronutrient malnutrition in human diets which contains enough calories but does not have sufficient vitamins and minerals. A multi-tier pivoted strategy is required to overcome hidden hunger. One may look healthy but there are strong chances to fall sick and suffer from infections due to hidden hunger. Hidden hunger is especially more evident in the pandemic ages and the COVID-19 condition has even worsened the situation. The problem is causing a major disease burden in developing and underdeveloping countries.
Hidden hunger is a major threat to global food security. This type of malnutrition occurs when people eat enough calories, but their diets lack essential vitamins and minerals. This can have a devastating impact on people’s health and can even lead to death in some cases. Hidden hunger is a particularly big problem in developing countries. Where it can cause iron deficiency anemia, stunting in children, and night blindness.
Hidden Hunger an Abnormal Condition
It is an abnormal physical condition due to unbalanced and inadequate consumption of micronutrients. A large proportion of diet throughout the world lack the Fe and Zn which adversely affects human health and longevity and ultimately it is affecting national economies. This nutritional deficiency has to be addressed by some alternatives such as consumption of animal products in diets, mineral supplementation, and increasing the bioavailability of mineral elements in foods, “the biofortification”. It is important to know that there is a good difference between hidden hunger, hollow hunger, and false hunger.
Mineral Supplementation and Diet Diversification
However, mineral supplementation, dietary diversification, and food fortification is not successful technique at all times. It is difficult to change the dietary habits of people for dietary modification and diversification due to socioeconomic conditions and cultural variations.
Fortification can be a sustainable approach for developing countries due to their well-established infrastructure and efficient delivery system. Whereas for the developing nations only biofortification is a viable approach because they do not have any aforementioned capacity for sustained investment. After the initiation of improvement strategies, they must be sustained on a long-term basis. Also Like: Brownian Motion in Chemistry
So agronomic biofortification along with breeding techniques is a useful strategy to enhance the uptake and bioavailability of mineral elements in edible plant parts.
Improving Minerals and Nutrients in Foods
Biofortification is the most economical and feasible approach to overcome hidden hunger. Micronutrient composition in edible plant parts can be enhanced through conventional and modern approaches. Increasing the bioavailable mineral contents in soil and developing efficient varieties for nutrient uptake is the most prominent work to successfully alleviate micronutrient malnutrition.
There are two types of hidden hunger, that is, primarily hidden hunger and secondary hidden hunger. Primarily hidden hunger occurs when the body cannot absorb micronutrients in food due to a genetic disorder of metabolism. Secondary hidden hunger occurs when people eat enough calories but do not receive the micronutrients needed to maintain good health. This can be as a result of poverty and living in an environment where it is difficult for people to access nutritious foods.
When discussing hidden hunger, it often has been classified as either ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’. The first group involves where people are unable to absorb the nutrients due to a disorder of metabolism.
A recent study, published in the journal ‘PLoS ONE’, has shown that many children under-5 years old have both forms of hidden hunger.
The study found that almost two-thirds of the children in the sample had anemia and more than half had deficiencies in zinc and vitamin A. The research also showed that around a third of the children were suffering from both hidden pangs of hunger.
Hidden hunger is a major threat to global food security because of deficiencies. In micronutrients can have a devastating impact on people’s health, leading to death in some cases. In addition, hidden hunger can inhibit children from proper development and growth. Which also has an effect on the economy as a whole.