The world’s hunger and future needs in food supplies

Sukhatme, P. V. (1961) The world’s hunger and future needs in food supplies Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General), 124 (4). pp. 463-525. ISSN 0035-9238

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Part of the world's population is hungry (undernourished) and malnourished. The paper presents a method of estimating the incidence of hunger in the population, based on the international reference scale for calorie requirements and on the variation in energy expenditure among men of the reference age group; illustrates the application of the method on calorie intake distributions available for a few countries; and estimates that between 300 and 500 million people in the world are undernourished. The paper also presents data on calorie consumption levels, region by region, together with the corresponding requirements, and draws attention to the hunger gap of 11 per cent. between the average levels of per caput consumption and requirement for the populous region of the Far East, and to the wide variation in calorie consumption levels between countries and between segments of the population within countries against a relatively small variation in their calorie requirements. Evidence on the extent of malnutrition is also presented together with an estimate of its incidence relative to the nutritional standards enjoyed by well-developed countries. The paper concludes that between one-third and one-half of the world's population suffers from hunger and malnutrition. As a background to this analysis the paper examines the scope, limitations and sources of errors in available data on food consumption and requirements. In Part Ii the paper gives an estimate of the amount of foods needed for the world's growing population to eliminate the hunger gap and to ensure a moderately good quality of diet for the people of the world. It uses the approach of linear programming in the calculation of the needed food supplies, by ensuring that the additional food supplies, while meeting the nutritional targets, cost the least to the consumer, are feasible of achievement within a reasonable period of years and are capable of being absorbed by the people. It concludes that the total supplies of cereals in the Far East would have to be more than doubled, and those of animal products increased to six times their present size, in order to ensure a reasonably adequate level of nutrition to its people by the year 2000. For the world as a whole the broad conclusion is that, should population grow according to the United Nations' medium forecast, the food supplies would have to be more than doubled by 1980 and tripled by the turn of the century in order to bring about a moderate improvement in the level of nutrition of the people of the world.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to John Wiley and Sons.
ID Code:98515
Deposited On:27 Aug 2014 12:04
Last Modified:27 Aug 2014 12:04

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