End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

SDG 2 - Zero Hunger

Hunger and malnutrition represent major dangers to the health of millions of people around the world and is the cause of severe debilitating symptoms, such as the inability to get warm, difficulty in breathing and delayed wound healing. Non-reversible, long-lasting consequences occur in the first years of life, when an insufficient and poor nutrition is not able to support children's rapid growth, putting them at risk of poor brain development, low immunity, and increased infections. Today, 149 million children are stunted, or too short for their age, and 50 million children are wasted, or too thin for their height. Moreover, sustained starvation leads to death and it is responsible for 9 million lost lives yearly. At the core of this absence of the fundamental human right to adequate food lie ineffective food systems and food insecurity. A much discussed topic and aspect which increases food insecurity in many parts of the world, especially in low income countries, are the negative impacts of climate change. The uncertainty in the availability of food and beverages is called food insecurity[AF1] , and while it has many faces, it usually appears as the inability to afford food, not having easy access to it, or the accessible food sources are contaminated. Strikingly, food insecurity is rising and in 2018, 26.4% of the world population was affected by food insecurity. From a Public Health perspective, the WHO has laid out a series of Essential Public Health Operations (EPHO) to help countries drive their actions towards achieving the SDGs. Specifically, two will contribute to the SDG 2 aim of eradicating hunger and achieving food security: EPHO3, which focuses on building capacity to manage food safety with the purpose of protecting health from communicable diseases and environmental risks and hazards, and EPHO4, which focuses in the development, implementation and evaluation of policies to promote healthy diets and to prevent overweight and obesity in order to promote population health and well-being.


Patricia Arnaiz Jimenez
PhD candidate
Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel