Consequences of Variations in Food Consumption Patterns (Economic…
Consequences of Variations in Food Consumption Patterns
Diversion of financial resources to healthcare
Public health expenditures increase when demand for health services increase. This increases overall costs for healthcare. In LDCs, higher spending on healthcare means less money to spend on food, education & housing. This slows down economic growth and development.
Long term debt due to food and financial aid
Financial aid may leave long term debt problems.
e.g. The USA provides half of all global aid. LDCs incurred losses of up to 5 to 7 billion USD because food supplied as aid is up to 34% more expensive than if it is bought locally. This is called tied aid, and serves to increase national debt of LDCs and DCs
When workers do not consume enough nutrients, they fall sick often. This lowers productivity at their workplace. Lower productivity leads to lower income.
Studies in countries such as Sierra Leone, India, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia show that low levels of nutrition intake over medium to long term is associated with lower productivity.
A political situation in which people protest or behave violently to communicate unhappiness about a political system. e.g. Food prices in Mozambique increased by 30% in 2010 due to drought in Russia that resulted in decreased wheat production. This resulted in violent protests, leaving 400 injured and 10 dead.
The state of extreme hunger from a severe lack of food. ( extreme form of malnutrition). Body becomes skeletally thin and organs suffer from permanent damage. If not managed, death follows.
More common in LDCs because of
greater no. of people living in poverty
unstable political situation e.g. rebellions or wars
e.g. In Mali in 2012, 5 million were threatened with starvation due to poor harvest and a civil rebellion that took place earlier in the year
lack or absence of resources to recover from natural disasters
Impact of inadequate food consumption on individuals and countries
Symptoms of deficiency
From sufficient exposure to sunlight
Makes strong and helathy bones, helps muscles, lungs, heart & brain to work well and fight infections
Symptoms of deficiency
Consequences: Loss of work days & productivity e.g. in the UK, 3 million people had osteoporosis in 2006. US$ 3.7 billion spent for patients with osteoporosis related fractures
Caused by: Diet without enough calcium and Vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium
More common in elderly women than men in both LDCs and DCs
Bones become less dense and fragile, increased chances of breaking or fracture
From dairy products, leafy vegetables
Makes strong and dense bones
Loss of educational opportunities
Lower learning power in the future
Miss chance to go to school due to blindness
Diarrhoeal diseases and measles: In LDCs, 2009, 44.8% and 60.7% of deaths under 5 years old were caused by measles or diarrhoea
Visual impairment e.g. 250k - 500k Vit-A deficient children become blind each year in LDCs
From eggs, cheese , meat, spinach, carrot pumpkin
Maintains good eyesight in low light, keeps immune system healthy
Malnutrition: a condition in which the body does not get the sufficient or balanced amount of nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ functions
Impacts of malnutrition
Adulthood: Less productive at work, low weight gain at pregnancy, reduced capacity to care for children
Adolescence: Impaired development leads to loss of school days & educational opportunities
Childhood: Children suffer from impaired development & increased chance of falling ill
Infancy: Inadequate foetal nourishment, malnourished infant
Results in death or long term developmental problems in individuals.
Malnutrition is the underlying cause of child deaths associated with diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and measles in 2009, with 52.5% of deaths of young children (under 5) caused by malnutrition.
More heavily affected by malnutrition. 16 % people from LDCs suffer from malnutrition. e.g. Demo. Republic of Congo has 75% population suffering from malnutrition.
Thousands of elderly people die in the US from malnutrition because they were eating too little due to difficulty eating & digesting. People with anorexia or bulimia also develop malnutrition from eating too little food.
Searching through things that people throw away.
It carries health risks because scavenged food contains high levels of chemicals or bacteria, such as heavy metals. It also places people in dangerous or illegal situations e.g. trespassing private property. Scavengers are a nuisance to the public and are physically or verbally harassed.
e.g. In Manila, Philippines, people without money to buy food sift through rubbish in Smokey Mountain for food. Many poor families set up makeshift homes there to have access to the waste. They make their living by picking through the landfill's rubbish.
Impact of excess food consumption on individuals and countries
More workers absent from work due to obesity related health issues, obese students absent from school, loss of school days and educational opportunities.
On national level, employees who are absent from work lead to millions of dollars in losses of insurance & productivity costs.
e.g. Among employees of Duke University, USA, those with BMI over 40 were twice as likely to fall ill or be injured at work. University has to pay higher compensation for them.
Diversion of financial resources to healthcare
Public health expenditure increases due to increase in obesity - related health conditions. Government has to channel more funds to health care system. This reduces amount of funds remaining for economic development. Overall progress of country declines.
Societies with excess food available for consumption may result in large amounts of food being wasted. Consumers in DCs waste as much as the entire amount of food available to Sub - Saharan Africa, which is 230 million tonnes.
LDC: 6 - 11 kg / capita
DC: 95 - 115 kg / capita
More waste produced, more strain on landfills
People choose to go on a diet so as not to be overweight. They regulate the amount of food they eat to maintain ideal body weight.
Provides employment and value to economy. In 2012, weight loss industry in the USA was valued at 20 billion from sales of diet books, medication and medical procedures.
Has to be done in healthy manner. e.g. consuming food low in fats. Inappropriate dieting leads to depression & diet related physical illnesses e.g. iron deficiency anaemia
Obesity and related illnesses
A person's health can be negatively affected by excessive consumption of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and protein.
Obesity is the condition of having excessive fat accumulation due to over-consumption of nutrients, to the extent that it may have a negative impact on health. It reduces lifespan by 9 years.
More common in DCs e.g. USA than in LDCs e.g. India.
Due to higher purchasing power and higher disposable income, leading to higher calorie intake in DCs compared to LDCs. Obesity is rising in DCs due to intake of food such as potato chips, sweet drinks.
From 1971 to 2003, obesity rates in the USA rose from 14.5% to 30.9% of the population.
Rising disposable income in LDCs e.g. Brazil & South Africa is causing obesity to become more common there. In Mexico, obesity rates have already exceeded average obesity rates of DCs.
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