Why do people starve?

Much of this century has been spent applying all this new knowledge to alleviating the problems of deficiency diseases, and undernutrition. It is an indictment of the age we live in that these problems have not been solved – although in defence of nutrition, it must be admitted the practical difficulties are far reaching and complex. Little effective improvement can be achieved without economic changes, although the Western World is beginning to pay a higher price for its luxury commodities like coffee and sugar. These are produced often to the detriment of indigenous staple foods for greater economic return, which is not always reflected in better nutrition and living conditions of the populations involved.

In the developed world nutrition currently presents many controversies about food, health and overnutrition, although we must be careful not to go to the extreme of concluding that it is only safe to eat nothing at all. It is better to consider optimum intakes which are neither too high nor too low.

People differ in their mental and physical constitutions and the old adage “one man’s meat is another man’s poison” is particularly pertinent to our present state of knowledge.

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