Hunger and abundance

Malnutrition and undernourishment still affect far too many people around the world. This is a fact that we need to be aware of, especially as an agency for food & beverages. Globally, 9.2% of people were affected by malnutrition in 2022. This compares with 13.1% in 2002.

Proportion of malnutrition in vers. countries

Infographic on the proportion of undernourishment in different countries
Percentage of undernourished people per country – Source:

Everyone needs a certain number of calories a day. The average optimal kilocalorie value for a person in Germany in 2022 was 1938 kcal. To determine this value, the age, height, gender and activity of the population are taken into account. Each country therefore has a slightly different value, but this is the minimum value to maintain the minimum healthy weight. Every individual has a different calorie requirement.

The necessary calories are compared with the calories that each person theoretically had available every day in 2021. In Germany that was 3634 kcal. The difference was therefore 1696 kcal, which roughly corresponds to the daily requirement of a person in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The USA is the country with the highest number of calories available (3911 kcal), with Germany in 9th place.

Necessary and available calories

Infographic on the necessary and available calories
Calories needed and calories available per person – Source:

Malnutrition occurs when the number of calories required to maintain a healthy weight cannot be achieved. Factors such as poverty often play a major role here. However, climate change also has an impact on people’s supply situation.

The ongoing hunger crisis in Madagascar is considered the first famine triggered by climate change. More than half of Madagascar’s population suffers from malnutrition. This is often accompanied by malnutrition. This is a very one-sided diet that cannot provide all the necessary fiber, vitamins or minerals, for example.

Development: From 2017 to 2022, the number of people affected by malnutrition increased. In 2017, the global figure was only 7.5%, now it is 9.2% (2022). Compared to 2002, however, there has been a clear improvement. Here, the figure was still 13.1%.

Percentage of malnutrition worldwide
2002 – 2022

Infographic on the proportion of malnutrition worldwide
Proportion of undernourished people worldwide – Source:

Peanuts are an important food in the fight against malnutrition and undernourishment. Peanut paste is used as therapeutic food and can be used in the form of packets for use in areas affected by malnutrition and undernourishment. “Plumpy Nut ” is distributed by Unicef, among others.

plumpy nut in the fight against malnutrition

One packet contains 500 kcal, the most important nutrients and costs 35 cents. RUTFs (ready-to-use therapeutic food, e.g. also BP100) are an effective way to help in acute emergency situations. The packs can also be administered at home, so an inpatient medical stay is not necessary. After three months of treatment with Plumpy Nut, a significant improvement can be observed. However, RUTFs are not a long-term solution. Another problem is the allergic potential of peanuts, which makes them difficult to use in some cases.