Hunger - "Living in the hollow of plenty"

Defining Hunger and Malnutrition continued...

For additional information and analysis, see:


The 2012 edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation presents new estimates of the number and proportion of hungry people in the world going back to 1990 – 1992. This is part of an ongoing process to make more accurate and useable information available worldwide. The new figures reflect a number of improvements in the availability of data as well as in its collection and in the methodology used to create the ‘prevalence of undernourishment’ indicator (which is defined as the proportion of the population in a country with a level of Dietary Energy Consumption lower than the Dietary Energy Requirements. ‘Nourishment’ has both a quantitative and a qualitative dimension.

The new estimates in the 2012 report now include:

Despite such improvements in the data and in the way it is calculated, a number of significant problems continue, including:

For these reasons, the POU should be considered to be a conservative estimate of undernourishment.

Important gaps in the data remain and some of the key improvements need to include:

← Back to main page