Malnutrition present in other forms in Morocco

Like the member countries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Morocco celebrates October 16, as every year, as International Food Day. This year’s global theme is “Leave no one behind. Improving production, nutrition, environment and living conditions”.

This day aims to sensitize and mobilize nations and people on issues of nutrition, food and in particular on the conservation of natural resources. As a result, Morocco has set specific objectives, within the framework of sustainable development relating to “Zero Hunger” (SDG2), in order to contribute to the elimination of hunger and to ensure food security and the improvement nutrition through the implementation of its two plans “Maroc Vert” and “Halieutis”.

However, the latest report published this year by the FAO states that the prevalence of malnutrition in Morocco has seen a slight increase. This rose from 5.5% of the total population between 2004 and 2006, to 5.6% between 2019 and 2021, the equivalent of 2.1 million people who suffer from this physiopathological condition.

Asked by MoroccoLatestNews, Dr Hafid Halhol, nutritionist and founding president of Nutri Leading, explains that it is not necessary to systematically “link malnutrition to poverty or living conditions. The term malnutrition refers to inadequate nutrition which can be related to undernourishment as well as overnutrition or dietary imbalance.“. He thus indicates that aperson is said to be at the stage of moderate malnutrition when the ratio between their weight and height is 70 to 80% of the normal ratio, and at the stage of severe malnutrition when this ratio is less than 70%“.

The nutrition expert adds, by way of example, that there is in our society “some people who suffer from what is called Anorexia. It is a psychological disease that prevents an individual from eating even if he has all the means to obtain good nutrition.“. He continues that these people with this disease are “in a situation of malnutrition or non-nutrition” adding that it is stronger than them since they “do not know how to eat at alland it relates to the lack of nutrition education. This is what he calls the modern part of malnutrition that most people don’t consider or don’t know how to treat.

Dr. Halhol further states that the “junk foodis also considered to beform of deprivation of good nutrition“, it is a “dietary pattern that some people adopt by choosing a diet that only harms their health and their body, for example saturated fat or carbohydrates. This is what aggravates the situation and also leads to malnutrition“.

In conclusion, our source insists that in order to fight against malnutrition, “nutritional education proves to be essential” adding that “people’s awareness is also important“.

Let us recall that in 2014, Morocco received the FAO prize for achieving the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG-1/c), which consists of the extreme reduction of poverty and hunger, and this achieved two years in advance. This performance has been achieved thanks to the policies that the Kingdom has adopted, namely the “Green Morocco Plan”, the “Halieutis Plan”, as well as the “National Forestry Program”.

The United Nations also recognized the first plan as a model for the development of the agricultural sector, an activity that represents the Kingdom’s flagship pillar in terms of food security. It is through this sector that the Moroccan population could benefit in the long term from a healthy production contributing to the improvement of their food conditions.

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