COVID-19 and malnutrition do not need to go hand in hand
The world was already deeply segregated when it came to food – before COVID-19, millions could not access healthy and nutritious diets. Since the pandemic, we are facing an endemic global hunger and micronutrient malnutrition crisis.
While chronic hunger has risen exponentially, the pandemic has increased the risk of weight gain in adults and children1. In many cities, such as London, Food Bank use has more than tripled. Around the world, more and more people find it hard to access or purchase healthy and nutritious foods. The GAP between those who can afford healthy food and those who cannot is growing2.
New research suggests that some micronutrients, including folic acid, zinc, selenium and vitamin D play a role in resistance against the COVID-19 disease 3. It is proven that obesity is a leading risk factor of death from COVID-19, while being underweight is known to prolong recovery 4.
Such extraordinary high levels of hunger and micronutrient malnutrition is having its own hidden impact on the pandemic – reducing the immunity and resilience of millions of people.
So, in a time when immunity and resilience is everything, why is micronutrient malnutrition not top of global investment?