The World Food Prize Symposium got underway in Des Moines today. World Food Prize Foundation president Kenneth Quinn says the topic this year is the dual challenge of malnutrition and obesity. He says we tended to look at these as separate problems and addressed them differently. But he says for probably the first time in the world they’re bringing together the experts on both issues.
He says they’re also bringing in representatives from agribusiness to join in the discussion.
Quinn says the twin focus of the symposium might reveal some things that’re surprising to the general public. He says the most interesting thing about the symposium that people probably don’t know is that some countries are having trouble with both obese people and malnourished people. The answer to the problem seems as simple as giving the malnourished some of the food eaten by the obese people. But Quinn says food distribution is only part of the problem.
He says there’s also questions of what kind of food people have. He says not all of the obese people have too much food, he says sometimes they’re eating the wrong kind of food.
Quinn says there’s research that finds a direct link between the two issues.
He says some find that if you’re malnourished as a child, that can lead to greater obesity as an adult as the problem moves from one continuum to another. He says that’s what the food prizes is about, discussing these types of issues. This year’s World Food Prize winner won for his work in aquaculture.