Edited by Edward A. Page and Michael Redclift
Chapter 6: Food Security
6. Food security Colin Sage 1 INTRODUCTION The 1994 Human Development Report lists seven main threats to human security: economic, health, environmental, personal, community, political and food security (UNDP, 1994). Food security touches on all the dimensions of human security: economics, social relations, health, community development and structures of political power and the environment. Consequently, food security has to be approached in a holistic way that recognises the complexity of intersecting multidimensional processes operating at all spatial scales (from the global to the individual), and in ways that are temporally discontinuous. Almost 800 million people in the developing world do not have enough to eat, and a further 34 million people in the industrialised countries and economies in transition also suffer from chronic food insecurity (FAO, 1999). Food insecurity is used here to mean a dietary intake of insufﬁcient and appropriate food to meet the needs of growth, activity and the maintenance of good health. In addition to those suffering from chronic hunger many millions more experience food insecurity on a seasonal or transitory basis. Prolonged protein energy malnutrition results in undernourishment with loss of body weight, reduced capacity to work and susceptibility to infectious, nutrientdepleting illnesses, such as gastro-intestinal infections, measles and malaria (Kates, 1996). Even mild undernourishment in children can lead to delayed or permanently stunted growth (DeRose and Millman, 1998). There are almost 200 million children in the world displaying low height-for-age with almost half of the children of South Asia failing to reach the weights...
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