By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, September 6: The emphasis on quantity of grain production rather than quality is to be blamed for 300 million Chinese people suffering from ‘hidden hunger,’ says a Chinese academic.
Off the 2 billion people around the world suffering from ‘hidden hunger,’ 300 million of them are Chinese, Wan Jianmin, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering said during a lecture on Sept 1, People’s Daily Online reported Sept 5.
According to a 2015 report on nutrition and chronic disease in china, Chinese people’s intake of minerals and vitamins including iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D falls short of the recommended levels.
“In addition to carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, the human body needs 16 kinds of minerals and 13 kinds of vitamins,” Wan said.
Regular insufficient intake of micronutrients can lead to birth defects and increases the mortality rate of children and pregnant women, the report adds.
The health condition and nutrition of children in Guizhou and Hunan provinces in May 2016 had barely improved after a decade, Wan concluded following his poverty alleviation work in the region.
Suggesting a solution to the problem, he said, “the emphasis on grain production should be shifted from quantity to quality to draw more attention on nutrition.”
Acknowledging the grave problem at hand, “The government should promote wholefoods as opposed to processed food,” commented a reader.