World Food Day 2019: Know the history, significance and theme

One of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar, it also marks the creation of FAO in 1945.

History and significance

World Food Day, which is dedicated towards tackling global hunger, is observed annually on October 16. People from around the world come together to declare their commitment towards eradicating worldwide hunger, as per Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations’ specialised agency which is responsible for leading efforts to defeat hunger. One of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar, it also marks the creation of FAO in 1945, as part of which events are organised in over 150 countries across the world.

The events of the day raise awareness and action on hunger to ensure food security and nutritious diet for all. As per FAO, over 820 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment with 60 per cent women, and five million children under five years of age dying of malnutrition-related causes each day.

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On the other hand, FAO notes that 672 million people suffer from obesity, and a further 1.3 billion are overweight. Unhealthy diet is the leading risk factor for deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain cancers. Linked with one fifth of deaths worldwide, unhealthy eating habits are also taking a toll on national health budgets costing up to USD two trillion per year. Obesity and other forms of malnutrition affect nearly one in three people. Projections indicate that the number will be one in two by 2025.

Theme of the year

The 2019’s theme is not only focused on achieving Zero Hunger but is also about nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. The theme is ‘Our Actions Are Our Future Healthy Diets for A #ZeroHunger World’. According to FAO, ‘This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start thinking about what we eat’.

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This year’s event will be held on Friday October 18, 2019 at Ladyville Technical High School, Philip S W Goldson Highway, Belize District in Central America where ethnic food dishes from Belize, displays of various types of locally processed foods and meats, cultural presentations, commercial and agricultural displays and other activities promoting food and nutrition security will be highlighted.

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