The world population according to the most recent report of United Nations’ World meter is 7.6 billion and the 0.6% of the population is the richest in the world holding 39.3% of the world wealth. Although there is enough intellectual nourishment in the world to feed everyone, almost a billion people go to seam hungry every Clarence Day.
Approximately 0.84 billion people (1/9 of the total population) do not have enough nutrient to lead an active and healthy life. To our horror, malnutrition in Asia, especially in Malaysia, is one of the most devastating issues of human rights. Despite Malaysia’s economic prosperity and affluent resources, it is still one of the top country significantly high numbers of malnourished family suffering from poverty and lack of nutrients.
However, the most surprising fact is that Malaysia is also rated as one of the country with the highest obesity rate. This clearly depicts the economic gap between the rich and the poor where there are people in Malaysia malnourished and are facing hardships to earn bread and butter for their family. These inequalities reflect the great watershed between the rich and poor.
According to the Subject Health and Morbidity Survey, there are currently thirty million people (9.5 million are children) living in Malaysia. Among the universe, 17.2 percent children are stunted, while 12.5 percent are underweight. On the other hand, 44 percent of the population is overweight, while an estimated 15 percent is considered obese. The total number of people with obesity exceeds that of any other country in Southeastern United States Asia. These two issues are the main cause for the objectives No Hunger across the country.
The Star Online had reported that children in low-cost flats Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur suffering from poorness and malnutrition. “These children’s are within easy law of proximity to amenities-yet have less access to healthy food, do not go to pre-school, live in perceived, unsafe area and have less opportunity to learn than most other children in Malaysia.” said UNICEF representative in Malaysia, Marianne Clark-Hattingh. The study also noted that poverty deface the didactics opportunities of children living in low-cost flats. This makes the children’s to more exposed to malnourishment and potentially damaging their cognitive development.
To add salt to the wound, rural areas in Malaysia often lack the reach of facility and government supervision, resulting in children left being malnourished at a high rate. According to a report by Children’s Right Coalition of Asia, the Orang Asli people of Malaysia are one of the most unfortunate groups of people who are malnourished. The main contributing factors are lack of unstained water, food and land followed by poor sanitation that leads to malnutrition and underweight in children.
There are several impacts on community of poverty, food insecurity, and poor nutrition on health and well-being. People facing problems like stress, competing priorities, financial problems and limited resources finds it like a challenge to maintain good health, have nutritious diet and avoid chronic diseases. Poor health, nutrition and disease management are the additional hardships face by people nowadays.
Around 40.6 million Americans lived in poverty in 2016. There is also one estimation where at least one quarter of American age between 25 and 60 relative poverty. This might be an economic condition that will strike the Americans. A few researches those who have poor health and less contact to health care than others are who don’t are mostly from those people living in or near poverty. Things like full-service grocery that provides reasonable priced and nutritious foods, garden areas that promote physical activity and have more environmental pollution that endangers one’s health are mostly in low-income residential areas than in higher-income neighborhoods.
When comes to children with low-income family background experience many problems like worse oral health, low birth weight, asthma, obesity, exposed to intakes of tobacco, very inactive most of the time, many problems in attitudes and behavior, will face difficulties in studies and that will lead to bad academic outcomes.
Meanwhile for adults, it is a bigger risk of health issues if they are living in poverty. For example, premature mortality, diabetes, chronic heart diseases, depression, poor oral health, disability and stroke. Furthermore, people with low income families faces high stress level can actually worsen existing health problems. “Treat or Eat” hidden meaning is actually a quarter of chronically sick adults face disability to afford food, medicine or both.
Financially limited resources, cause people who are food insecure that has disease or not to stretch budgets that are bad for health for coping with strategies. For instance, they buy food that has higher energy content but less nutrient food. Besides that, they even ration or dilute the milk for an infant. They also avoid taking initiative on needed medical care.
These food insecurities may also exacerbate current disease facing by them. For example, diabetes for bad glycaemia control, renal disease for people with kidney problems, and among people that as HIV with low CD4 counts. Meanwhile in children that has epilepsy worsen their health due to food insecure household and with medication side effects on them. Although, there are researches saying that there are higher health care utilization and higher costs of healthcare due to household food insecurity.
For children, adults, and older adults’ poverty, food insecurity has many impacts for their health. At the same time, it is also dangerous for those who have existing chronic diseases and poor mental health. Apart from these people, all these also effects and have a great impact on the economy and health care system of a country. Thankfully, there are several solutions to solve this major issue. For now, they have federal nutrition programs exist. By having connection in between people and these federal nutrition programs we are able to support and improve one’s nations’ health critically.
Food waste has its own disadvantages especially to the environment. Almost more than 50 percent of the waste take place along the process of production, yield and storage stage and the remaining waste occurs during processing, dealing out and utilization stages or the “downstream”. We can say that the higher income region has been showing greater food loss regions during the consumption phase. Developing countries were more often to waste food at the production phase as they are lacking of proper harvest methods and infrastructure. The environmental effects increases rapidly when greater amount of food was wasted. This is due to we have to take into account the energy and the natural raw materials disburse in processing, shifting, storing and cooking it.
On the other hand, when food waste is thrown at landfills, large amount of methane produced. Methane is well known as a most strong greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In term of scientific theory, the greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and chlorofluorocarbon enclosed the infrared radiation and heat up the earth’s atmosphere, which end up causing global warming and climate change. Food waste is highly to the great waste of fresh water and underground water resources. For instance, nearly 1000 liters which is 1 milliliters of water are wasted you pour one glass of milk down the drain because at the end somehow the river water will mix with the drain water which is already contaminated with the milk.
There are few sectors which affect the environment in much type of ways as agriculture is one of the major sectors which influence the environment through its effects on ecosystems, land cover and on regional and global cycles of water, nutrients and carbon. The climate in our world has been changed by the emission of greenhouse gases in atmosphere and reduction of carbon storage in vegetation and soil by the agriculture. The global food system is categorized as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere as it contributes nearly one-third of the total to the atmosphere. Due to the increasing food manufacturing, more than one environmental effect happens including the carbon sequestration and greenhouse gases emissions.
Nitrogen gas causes several effects to the environment when it was emitted to the surrounding. Nitrogen gas is a particularly restriction to plant productivity, a crucial vitality and economic input in agro ecosystems and a major resource of environmental contamination through gaseous and leaching losses. We can use the nitrogen to make fertilizer like fertilizer. There are several steps taken to lower the consumption and environmental imprints of the fertilizer-N, while retaining or even increasing productivity of the plant including the advancement of synthetic nitrogen-fixing system for key crop species. That is the reason why nitrogen has harmful consequences when used in large quantities or imperfectly managed. As Africa drastically wider the use of nitrogen to reach food security and it is crucial to study from past experiences.
Hunger is not easy to be solved and the long history of the anti-hunger measures has often been of failure, but successful action on hunger reduction is possible to cut the large numbers of people who are still living in hunger. So here are the possible solutions for the hunger issues in Malaysia that can be done and have been done.
Firstly, to improve nutrition and assuage hunger in Malaysia, the government has introduced the Applied Food and Nutrition Program in year 1972.The main purpose of this program is to increase the production of nutritious foods and promote supplementary feeding of pregnant and lactating mothers as well as infants and school-going children. In 1989, another program named Nutrition Rehabilitation Program started, perhaps focusing on the starving children. For instance, food baskets containing nutritional supplements are distributed to such children on a monthly basis. The Nutrition Rehabilitation Program gives a very positive result whereby only 1 percent of Malaysia’s children under the age of five are severely underweight, while the ratio of moderate underweight malnutrition has decreased from 25 percent in the early 1990s to 12 percent in 2001.
Malaysia has overcome penury through a comprehensive approach to growth and justice. Unfortunately, there are still vulnerable groups, such that single female-headed household and the elderly. And perhaps, many Orang Asli still face extreme poverty.
Next, access to education is the one of the best weapon in order to against poverty and hunger in Malaysia. Education enhances a better opportunity and more access to income and food. Food-for education programs can be introduced where students are given free foods for coming to schools. This may seem like an idea in the United States, but it is life-saving of many people in most of the developed countries.
Besides that, hunger issues can be prevented by empowering women in agriculture. Empowering women to start businesses can also help their families earn enough money to put food on the table. This can be seen, in Haiti, the female farmers who were chronically food hunger can now available to feed her families, expand her businesses and save her children’s futures. Malaysia can adopt empowering women in agriculture like how the women in Haiti are surviving from hunger and poverty.
Another possible way to out the hunger crisis is to stimulate agriculture and develop rural areas. To develop agriculture techniques and skills are the most important because it sharply increases the efficiency of productivity. A developed country, such as Malaysia should be more open about the agricultural technology and perhaps will produce more crop yields. Furthermore, reduce the subsidies on farm production, sharing of the technology innovation.
A community services also can be established in order to reduce hunger and poverty among Malaysians. For instance, Grace Community Services (GCS) is established in August 2009, whereby they community service collecting foods and disturbing the foods to the poor. Currently, GCS feeds 400 families in Klang Valley. Some kind-hearted people, they donated industrial freezers and chillers and a chilled van that enables GCS to collect cooked food where by at first they could only take packaged food.
Lastly, food wastage is also one of the ways to prevent hunger and poverty. Usually, food wastage happens in the wedding reception, dinner and birthday function. To avoid food wastage and reduce hunger issues at the same time, we as a Malaysian citizens should be open minded and do give respects to the people in hardship by inviting them to the wedding reception if there is still over excessive food and do provide a good foods for them too rather than throwing the foods. This will makes the people in need to be happy. Good Meal Happy Tummy.