Malnutrition in the Caribbean.

Malnutrition in the Caribbean.

Malnutrition is the lack of nutrients or excessive nutrients that lead to the contraction of illnesses. In the Caribbean, malnutrition has become a major challenge resulting in not only underweight but also overweight individuals. Various arguments have been advanced concerning malnutrition in the Caribbean, focusing on the causes of malnutrition. Despite all arguments being viable, they have different views and address the overweight and the underweight situation as their main sides. Food insecurity and lifestyle are some of the main causes of malnutrition in the Caribbean

Food insecurity refers to the absence of adequate food access, which is a necessity for healthy living. The issue of food insecurity distresses every country from the developed to the developing nations. The Caribbean is part of the region most affected by food insecurity. Food insecurity must be addressed sooner than later because it has detrimental effects such as malnutrition and the development of chronic illnesses. In the Caribbean region, food insecurity as an issue has significantly contributedto malnutrition. Access to food means people have access to all nutrients since they eat a balanced diet (Galicia et al. 140). However, whenever there is food insecurity, people lack essential nutrients since they do not have access to food. The body requires food constantly because it produces energy used in day-to-day activities. In the absence of essential nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins, among other nutrients, people become unhealthy and have higher chances of developing chronic illnesses (VII Latin American Workshop on Leadership in Nutrition 292) Malnutrition in the Caribbean. The lack of essential nutrients leads to developing, among other illnesses, anemia and asthma. In the Caribbean, the lack of adequate food access affects many individuals because of their socioeconomic status. According to (Lissbrant 122), the level of poverty in the Caribbean is high, which means people have limited access to balanced diets. The economic and social status of individuals affects their access to nourishing nutritious food. In the Caribbean, the economic and social status of individualsresults in their malnutritionsince they are restricted, leading to the death of young children because of their underweight nature. The food distribution chain in the Caribbean has largely contributed to the malnutrition state within the region (Lissbrant 122). Despite the availability of food due to globalization that has connected countries, people continue to lack adequate food because the distribution channels fail to reach them Malnutrition in the Caribbean.

Galicia, Grajeda, and de Romaña(107) suggests that malnutrition in the Caribbean is because of the lifestyle of many. Lifestyle is a significant contributor that leads to excessive consumption of various nutrients as compared to others. According to the World Health Organization(14), undernutrition is not the cause of malnutrition in the Caribbean, but instead the accessibility of excessive nutrition such as calories. In the past, the number of underweight people was high (Popkin, Corvalan, and Grummer-Strawn 68). Nonetheless, this has declined substantially with time, mostly because of the change in people’s lifestyles. Globalization has affected health and nutrition and is part of the leading cause of malnutrition. People have changed their lifestyles and are now eating from fast-food restaurants and eating more junk foods. These have led to many people becoming overweight due to excessive consumption of calories. Furthermore, people are no longer exercising due to their choice of lifestyle. This has contributed to the change whereby, for the first time, overweight people are more than underweight individuals are. Indiscriminate consumption of foods with high energy has led to malnutrition. Fats and sugars are major contributors to the oversupply of calories Malnutrition in the Caribbean.

Works Cited

Galicia, Luis, et al. "Tackling malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean: challenges and opportunities." RevistaPanamericana de SaludPública 40 (2016): 138-146.

VII Latin American Workshop on Leadership in Nutrition. "Proposal and actions to decrease malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean." Food and Nutrition Bulletin 39.2 (2018): 290-295.

Lissbrant, Sofia. "Food and nutritional security in the Caribbean region: Consequences of malnutrition and Good Practices as solutions." Investigación y Desarrollo 23.1 (2015): 117-138.

Popkin, Barry M., Camila Corvalan, and Laurence M. Grummer-Strawn. "Dynamics of the double burden of malnutrition and the changing nutrition reality." The Lancet 395.10217 (2020): 65-74.

World Health Organization. Regional Overview of Food Security in Latin America and the Caribbean: Towards healthier food environments that address all forms of malnutrition. Vol. 12. Food & Agriculture, Org., 2020.

Galicia, Luis, Rubén Grajeda, and Daniel López de Romaña. "Nutrition situation in Latin America and the Caribbean: current scenario, past trends, and data gaps." RevistaPanamericana de SaludPública 40 (2016): 104-113.