One in three young children undernourished or overweight: UNICEF

(VOVWORLD) - A third of the world's nearly 700 million under five year olds are undernourished or overweight and face lifelong health problems as a consequence, according to a grim United Nations assessment of childhood nutrition released on Tuesday. 

"If children eat poorly, they live poorly," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, as she unveiled the Fund's first State of the World's Children report since 1999 to focus on food and nutrition. Malnutrition costs the global economy an estimated 3.5 trillion USD every year. Despite a nearly 40 percent drop from 1990 to 2015 of stunting in poor countries, 150 million children aged four or younger are today still too short for their age, a clinical condition that impairs both brain and body development. Across all age groups, more than 800 million people in the world are constantly hungry and another two billion are eating too much of the wrong foods, driving epidemics of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.