Almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The number of people the “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020” marked as going hungry increased by 10 million from 2018 and has risen by about 60 million in five years. According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic could bring over 130 million more people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020.

The report states that in 2019, 191 million children under five were stunted or wasted (too short or too thin), while another 38 million of these children were overweight. The report also says that “among adults … obesity has become a global pandemic in its own right.”

A healthy diet costs far more than $1.90 a day, and approximately 3 billion people could not afford to have one, the report stated. Nutrient-rich dairy, fruits, vegetables and protein-rich foods are the most expensive food groups worldwide. About 3 billion people worldwide cannot afford a healthy diet, FAO notes. 

“The report urges a transformation of food systems to reduce the cost of nutritious foods and increase the affordability of healthy diets,” the organization stated in a release. “While the specific solutions will differ from country to country, and even within them, the overall answers lie with interventions along the entire food supply chain, in the food environment, and in the political economy that shapes trade, public expenditure and investment policies.”

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