An independent survey that records diets internationally, known as the “ 2021 Global Nutrition Report,” has concluded that around 50% of people in the world are either underfed or overfed.

“The 2021 Global Nutrition Report sets out progress towards the global nutrition targets, evaluates the impact of poor diets on our health and our planet, assesses the nutrition financing landscape, and provides a comprehensive overview of reporting on past Nutrition for Growth (N4G) commitments,” according to the report.

The report, conducted every year since 2013, has found that a quarter of deaths for all adults is contributed to poor diet that is causing people to be underweight, overweight or obese.

“The previous decade has seen little progress in improving diets, and a quarter of all deaths among adults are attributable to poor diets – those low in fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds and whole grains, and high in red and processed meat and sugary drinks,” according to the report.

The world is not set to be on track for five out of six of its “global nutrition targets” made by the World Health Organization by 2025.

The targets include:

  • achieve a 40% reduction in the number of children under-5 who are stunted;
  • achieve a 50% reduction of anemia in women of reproductive age;
  • achieve a 30% reduction in low birth weight;
  • ensure that there is no increase in childhood overweight;
  • increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50%;
  • reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.

The report suggests that a person’s individual nutrition choices not only affect them personally but also the “health of the planet.” Current food production for meat-heavy diets is directly correlated with high amounts of greenhouse gas emissions globally.