Disparities in calorie intake


Human beings must obtain enough energy from the food they eat if they are to be healthy and active. Diets may, of course, provide sufficient calories and yet be grossly unsatisfactory in other respects, particularly in terms of protein content. Inequalities among countries are much more pronounced for proteins than for calories; protein shortages are both more frequent and relatively greater, and such shortages are more serious in their consequences. However, a serious calorie deficiency may deteriorate the protein status of a person, because in that case protein may be utilized for energy, even in people whose diets are already low in protein.


Recently it was estimated that the national per capita calorie and protein supply fell below the recommended minimum in at least half of the developing countries. However, national averages conceal wide disparities among population groups within countries.

Broader Problems:
Protein-energy malnutrition
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
16.06.2019 – 20:26 CEST