Global Hunger

August 8, 2014 • Volume 24, Issue 29
Can the planet feed itself in 2050?
By Tom Price


American food aid is delivered to a refugee camp (AFP/Getty Images/Fred Dufour)
American food aid is delivered to a refugee camp in Bossangoa, Central African Republic, on Dec. 19, 2013. Twelve percent of Earth's population doesn't get enough to eat. The problem is severest in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in four goes hungry. (AFP/Getty Images/Fred Dufour)

New agricultural technology has enabled global food supplies to outstrip population growth, driving down the number of hungry people around the world from just over 1 billion in 1992 to 842 million today — a 17 percent drop. But food shortages and undernourishment remain huge problems in developing countries. Hunger stems from weather-related disasters such as droughts and floods, as well as from war, poverty, overpopulation, poor farming practices, government corruption, difficulties transporting food to markets, climate change and waste. Hunger is severest in sub-Saharan Africa, where 25 percent of the population is undernourished. Developed countries and humanitarian organizations have become proficient at providing emergency relief and promoting higher-yield, environmentally friendly agricultural practices, but the outlook on global hunger remains murky. Experts expect an expanding global population and growing economic affluence in developing countries to increase the demand for food, even as climate change hampers the planet's ability to feed itself.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Nutrition and Health
Jul. 07, 2017  Hunger in America
Oct. 30, 2015  Dietary Supplements
Aug. 08, 2014  Global Hunger
Oct. 01, 2010  Preventing Obesity
Apr. 07, 2006  Rising Health Costs
Feb. 10, 2006  Eating Disorders Updated
Sep. 03, 2004  Dietary Supplements
Jan. 31, 2003  Obesity Epidemic
Feb. 23, 2001  Diet and Health
Jan. 15, 1999  Obesity and Health
Sep. 26, 1997  Youth Fitness
Apr. 14, 1995  Dieting and Health
Jul. 08, 1994  Dietary Supplements
Dec. 18, 1992  Eating Disorders
Nov. 06, 1992  Physical Fitness
Jul. 31, 1992  Infant Mortality
Oct. 25, 1991  World Hunger
Mar. 16, 1990  Public-Health Campaigns: Do They Go Too Far?
Apr. 29, 1988  How America Eats
Sep. 06, 1985  Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders
May 18, 1984  Dining in America
Aug. 26, 1983  Staying Healthy
Nov. 19, 1982  Weight Control: A National Obsession
Oct. 17, 1980  Caffeine Controversy
Apr. 14, 1978  Physical Fitness Boom
Jun. 17, 1977  Obesity and Health
Feb. 22, 1974  Heart Research
Aug. 01, 1973  Nutrition in America
Dec. 02, 1970  Infant Health
Nov. 15, 1967  Overweight and Health
Aug. 10, 1966  Dental Health
Jul. 13, 1966  Prolongation of Life
May 09, 1962  Outdoor Recreation
Nov. 26, 1958  Dieting and Health
Jul. 13, 1949  Recreation for Millions
May 13, 1941  Nutrition and National Health
Agriculture and the Environment
Farm Loans, Insurance, and Subsidies
Farm Produce and Commodities