FO O D   S Y S T E M S   F O R   B E T T E R   N U T R I T I O N
67
which grows more complex with the food 
system transformation. 
Agencies must have the capacity to 
coordinate, plan, implement, monitor 
and evaluate. in Zambia, increasing the 
number of qualified nutritionists in the main 
coordinating body may improve coordination 
(taylor, 2012b). staff training in nutrition is 
important also to help develop a common 
language amongst actors in different sectors. 
in senegal, qualified nGos and training 
allowed the nutrition enhancement Program 
to work well at the local level (Garrett and 
natalicchio, 2011).
A great many actors and institutions 
must work together across sectors to 
more effectively reduce undernutrition, 
micronutrient deficiencies and overweight 
and obesity. Good governance, that is, 
providing leadership, coordinating effectively 
and fostering collaboration among the many 
stakeholders, is a first priority.
Key messages of the report
The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: 
Food systems for better nutrition offers the 
following key messages:
•  Malnutrition in all its forms imposes 
unacceptably high costs on society in 
human and economic terms. the costs 
associated with undernutrition and 
micronutrient deficiencies are higher 
than those associated with overweight 
and obesity, although the latter are 
rising rapidly even in low- and middle-
income countries. 
•  Addressing malnutrition requires a 
multisectoral approach that includes 
complementary interventions in food 
systems, public health and education. 
this approach also facilitates the 
pursuit of multiple objectives, including 
better nutrition, gender equality and 
environmental sustainability. 
•  Within a multisectoral approach, food 
systems offer many opportunities for 
interventions leading to improved 
diets and better nutrition. some of 
these interventions have the primary 
purpose of enhancing nutrition. other 
interventions in food systems, and in 
the general economic, social or political 
environment, may affect nutrition 
even though this is not their primary 
objective. 
•  Agricultural production and productivity 
growth remain essential for better 
nutrition, but more can be done. 
Agricultural research must continue 
to enhance productivity, while paying 
greater attention to nutrient-dense 
foods such as fruits, vegetables, 
legumes and animal products and to 
more sustainable production systems. 
Production interventions are more 
effective when they are sensitive 
to gender roles and combined with 
nutrition education.
•  Both traditional and modern supply 
chains offer risks and opportunities for 
achieving better nutrition and more 
sustainable food systems. improvements 
in traditional supply chains can help 
reduce losses, lower prices and increase 
diversity of choice for lower-income 
households. the growth of modern 
retailing and food processing can 
facilitate the use of fortification to 
combat malnutrition, but the increased 
availability of highly processed, 
packaged goods may contribute to 
overweight and obesity. 
•  Consumers ultimately determine what 
they eat and therefore what the food 
system produces. but governments, 
international organizations, the 
private sector and civil society can 
all help consumers make healthier 
decisions, reduce waste and contribute 
to the sustainable use of resources, by 
providing clear, accurate information 
and ensuring access to diverse and 
nutritious foods.
•  Better governance of food systems 
at all levels, facilitated by high-level 
political support, is needed to build a 
common vision, to support evidence-
based policies, and to promote effective 
coordination and collaboration through 
integrated, multisectoral action.
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StatiStical annex
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St a t i S t i c a l  a n n e x
71
notes for the annex table 
Key
the following conventions are used in the table: 
..   
= data not available
0 or 0.0   
= nil or negligible
blank cell  
= not applicable
numbers presented in the annex table may differ from the original 
data sources because of rounding or data processing. to separate 
decimals from whole numbers a full point (.) is used.
technical notes
Prevalence of stunting among children
Sources: UniceF, WHO and the World Bank, 2012 and United nations, 
2011b. at the country level, observations are for the most recent year 
available. (a) indicates that regional aggregates (for both central and 
Southern asia) are FaO estimates using the data presented and age-
specific population weights (United nations, 2011b). all other regional 
aggregates are modelled estimates for the year 2010 as presented in 
UniceF, WHO and World Bank (2012). 
Stunting
children under five years of age are considered stunted when their 
height-for-age is 2 standard deviations below WHO’s 2006 child 
growth standards. 
Prevalence of anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies in children
Source: Micronutrient initiative, 2009. 
Values in italics are regression-based estimates as calculated by the 
Micronutrient initiative. the value 0.0* is shown for countries that are 
assumed to be to be free of Vitamin a deficiency because they have a 
GDP per capita of at least $US15 000.
Anaemia
Young children (under the age of five) are considered anaemic when 
their haemoglobin levels are less than 110 grams per litre. 
Vitamin A deficiency
children under the age of five exhibit vitamin a deficiency when their 
serum retinol is less than 0.70 μmol/litre or 20 
μ
g/dl. 
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tH e   S t a t e   O F   F O O D   a n D   a G R i c U l t U R e   2 0 1 2
72
Iodine deficiency
children are considered iodine-deficient when their urinary iodine is 
below 100 μg/litre. children are defined here as those aged 6–12 years.
Prevalence of obesity among adults 
Sources: WHO, 2013c and United nations, 2011b. 
Regional aggregates are FaO estimates using the obesity prevalence 
rates presented and age-specific population weights.
Obesity
adults over 20 years of age are considered obese when their body 
mass index (BMi) is greater than or equal to 30. BMi equals body 
weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared (kg/m
2
). 
country group and regional aggregates
the table presents country group and regional aggregates for all 
indicators; these are weighted averages that are calculated for 
the country groupings and regions as described below. in general, 
weighted averages for country groups are reported only when data 
represent at least two-thirds of the available population in that 
classification. 
country and regional notes
Regional and subregional groupings, as well as the designation of 
developing and developed regions, follow the standard country or 
area codes for statistical use developed by the United nations Statistics 
Division (available at: unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49.htm). 
Data for china exclude data for Hong Kong Special administrative 
Region of china and Macao Special administrative Region of china. 
Data for Sudan refer to the former sovereign state of Sudan (both 
Sudan and South Sudan).
St a t i S t i c a l  a n n e x
73
annex taBle
Prevalence of 
stunting among 
children 
(%)
Prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies  
and anaemia among children 
(%)
Prevalence of 
obesity among 
adults 
(%)
anaemia
Vitamin a 
deficiency
iodine  
deficiency
Most recent 
observation
Most recent observation
2008
WORlD 
25.7
47.9
30.7
30.3
11.7
cOUntRieS in DeVelOPinG ReGiOnS
28.0
52.4
34.0
29.6
8.7
aFRica
35.6
64.6
41.9
38.2
11.3
Sub-Saharan africa
39.6
67.8
45.6
36.0
7.5
eastern africa
42.1
65.2
46.3
38.2
3.9
Burundi
57.7
56.0
27.9
60.5
3.3
comoros
46.9
65.4
21.5
..
4.4
Djibouti
32.6
65.8
35.2
..
10.4
eritrea
43.7
69.6
21.4
25.3
1.8
ethiopia
44.2
75.2
46.1
68.4
1.2
Kenya
35.2
69.0
84.4
36.8
4.7
Madagascar
49.2
68.3
42.1
..
1.7
Malawi
47.8
73.2
59.2
..
4.5
Mauritius
13.6
16.8
9.2
4.4
18.2
Mozambique
43.7
74.7
68.8
68.1
5.4
Réunion
..
..
..
..
..
Rwanda
44.3
41.9
6.4
0.0
4.3
Seychelles
7.7
23.8
8.0
..
24.6
Somalia
42.1
..
61.7
..
5.3
Uganda
38.7
64.1
27.9
3.9
4.6
United Republic of tanzania
42.5
71.8
24.2
37.7
5.4
Zambia
45.8
52.9
54.1
72.0
4.2
Zimbabwe
32.3
19.3
35.8
14.8
8.6
Middle africa
35.0
63.9
56.1
23.8
4.8
angola
29.2
29.7
64.3
..
7.2
cameroon
32.5
68.3
38.8
91.7
11.1
central african Republic
40.7
84.2
68.2
79.5
3.7
chad
38.8
71.1
50.1
29.4
3.1
congo
31.2
66.4
24.6
..
5.3
Democratic Republic of the congo
43.4
70.6
61.1
10.1
1.9
equatorial Guinea
35.0
40.8
13.9
..
11.5
Gabon
26.3
44.5
16.9
38.3
15.0
Sao tome and Principe
31.6
36.7
95.6
..
11.3
tH e   S t a t e   O F   F O O D   a n D   a G R i c U l t U R e   2 0 1 2
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Prevalence of 
stunting among 
children 
(%)
Prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies  
and anaemia among children 
(%)
Prevalence of 
obesity among 
adults 
(%)
anaemia
Vitamin a 
deficiency
iodine  
deficiency
Most recent 
observation
Most recent observation
2008
northern africa
21.0
46.6
20.4
49.3
23.0
algeria
15.9
42.5
15.7
77.7
17.5
egypt
30.7
29.9
11.9
31.2
34.6
libya
21.0
33.9
8.0
..
30.8
Morocco
14.9
31.5
40.4
63.0
17.3
Sudan
37.9
84.6
27.8
62.0
6.6
tunisia
9.0
21.7
14.6
26.4
23.8
Western Sahara
..
..
..
..
..
Southern africa
30.8
27.1
18.7
28.3
31.3
Botswana
31.4
38.0
26.1
15.3
13.5
lesotho
39.0
48.6
32.7
21.5
16.9
namibia
29.6
40.5
17.5
28.7
10.9
South africa
23.9
24.1
16.9
29.0
33.5
Swaziland
30.9
46.7
44.6
34.5
23.4
Western africa
36.4
77.1
43.5
40.2
6.6
Benin
44.7
81.9
70.7
8.3
6.5
Burkina Faso
35.1
91.5
54.3
47.5
2.4
cape Verde
21.4
39.7
2.0
77.4
11.5
côte d’ivoire
39.0
69.0
57.3
27.6
6.7
Gambia
24.4
79.4
64.0
72.8
8.5
Ghana
28.6
76.1
75.8
71.3
8.0
Guinea
40.0
79.0
45.8
32.4
4.7
Guinea-Bissau
32.2
74.9
54.7
..
5.4
liberia
39.4
86.7
52.9
3.5
5.5
Mali
27.8
82.8
58.6
68.3
4.8
Mauritania
23.0
68.2
47.7
69.8
14.0
niger
54.8
81.3
67.0
0.0
2.5
nigeria
41.0
76.1
29.5
40.4
7.1
Saint Helena
..
..
..
..
..
Senegal
28.7
70.1
37.0
75.7
8.0
Sierra leone
37.4
83.2
74.8
..
7.0
togo
29.5
52.4
35.0
6.2
4.6
aSia exclUDinG JaPan
26.8
49.6
33.9
29.8
6.0
central asia
22.7 (a)
38.5
38.3
39.1
18.4
Kazakhstan
17.5
36.3
27.1
53.1
24.4
annex taBle (cont.)
St a t i S t i c a l  a n n e x
75
Prevalence of 
stunting among 
children 
(%)
Prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies  
and anaemia among children 
(%)
Prevalence of 
obesity among 
adults 
(%)
anaemia
Vitamin a 
deficiency
iodine  
deficiency
Most recent 
observation
Most recent observation
2008
Kyrgyzstan
18.1
49.8
26.3
88.1
17.2
tajikistan
39.2
37.7
26.8
..
9.9
turkmenistan
28.1
35.8
28.0
18.7
14.3
Uzbekistan
19.6
38.1
53.1
39.8
17.3
eastern asia
8.5
20.1
9.4
15.0
5.6
china
9.4
20.0
9.3
15.7
5.6
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
32.4
31.7
27.5
..
3.8
Mongolia
27.5
21.4
19.8
52.8
16.4
Republic of Korea
..
16.5
0.0*
..
7.3
South-eastern asia
27.4
41.0
23.4
30.2
5.3
Brunei Darussalam
..
24.2
0.0*
..
7.9
cambodia
40.9
63.4
22.3
..
2.3
indonesia
35.6
44.5
19.6
16.3
4.7
lao People’s Democratic Republic
47.6
48.2
44.7
26.9
3.0
Malaysia
17.2
32.4
3.5
57.0
14.1
Myanmar
35.1
63.2
36.7
22.3
4.1
Philippines
32.3
36.3
40.1
23.8
6.4
Singapore
4.4
18.9
0.0*
..
6.4
thailand
15.7
25.2
15.7
34.9
8.5
timor-leste
57.7
31.5
45.8
..
2.9
Viet nam
30.5
34.1
12.0
84.0
1.6
Southern asia
45.5(a)
66.5
50.0
36.6
3.2
afghanistan
59.3
37.9
64.5
71.9
2.4
Bangladesh
43.2
47.0
21.7
42.5
1.1
Bhutan
33.5
80.6
22.0
13.5
5.5
india
47.9
74.3
62.0
31.3
1.9
iran (islamic Republic of)
7.1
35.0
0.5
19.7
21.6
Maldives
20.3
81.5
9.4
43.1
16.1
nepal
40.5
78.0
32.3
27.4
1.5
Pakistan
43.0
50.9
12.5
63.6
5.9
Sri lanka
19.2
29.9
35.3
30.0
5.0
Western asia
18.0
42.0
16.6
30.3
28.6
armenia
20.8
23.9
0.6
6.3
23.4
azerbaijan
26.8
31.8
32.1
74.4
24.7
Bahrain
13.6
24.7
0.0*
16.2
32.6
annex taBle (cont.)
tH e   S t a t e   O F   F O O D   a n D   a G R i c U l t U R e   2 0 1 2
76
Prevalence of 
stunting among 
children 
(%)
Prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies  
and anaemia among children 
(%)
Prevalence of 
obesity among 
adults 
(%)
anaemia
Vitamin a 
deficiency
iodine  
deficiency
Most recent 
observation
Most recent observation
2008
cyprus
..
18.6
0.0*
..
23.4
Georgia
11.3
40.6
30.9
80.0
21.2
iraq
27.5
55.9
29.8
..
29.4
israel
..
11.8
0.0*
..
25.5
Jordan
8.3
28.3
15.1
24.4
34.3
Kuwait
3.8
32.4
0.0*
31.4
42.8
lebanon
16.5
28.3
11.0
55.5
28.2
Occupied Palestinian territory
..
..
..
..
Oman
9.8
50.5
5.5
49.8
22.0
Qatar
11.6
26.2
0.0*
30.0
33.1
Saudi arabia
9.3
33.1
3.6
23.0
35.2
Syrian arab Republic
27.5
41.0
12.1
..
31.6
turkey
12.3
32.6
12.4
60.9
29.3
United arab emirates
..
27.7
0.0*
56.6
33.7
Yemen
57.7
68.3
27.0
30.2
16.7
latin aMeRica anD tHe caRiBBean
13.4
38.5
15.7
8.7
23.4
caribbean
6.7
41.3
17.8
59.8
20.3
anguilla
..
..
..
..
..
antigua and Barbuda
..
49.4
7.4
..
25.8
aruba
..
..
..
..
..
Bahamas
..
21.9
0.0*
..
35.0
Barbados
..
17.1
6.5
..
33.4
British Virgin islands
..
..
..
..
..
cayman islands
..
..
..
..
..
cuba
7.0
26.7
3.6
51.0
20.5
Dominica
..
34.4
4.2
..
25.0
Dominican Republic
10.1
34.6
13.7
86.0
21.9
Grenada
..
32.0
14.1
..
24.0
Guadeloupe
..
..
..
..
..
Haiti
29.7
65.3
32.0
58.9
8.4
Jamaica
5.7
48.2
29.4
..
24.6
Martinique
..
..
..
..
..
Montserrat
..
..
..
..
..
netherlands antilles
..
..
..
..
Puerto Rico
..
..
..
..
Saint Kitts and nevis
..
22.9
7.1
..
40.9
Saint lucia
..
32.2
11.3
..
22.3
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
..
32.3
2.1
..
25.1
annex taBle (cont.)
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