Food and Nutrition
Poor Nutrition
​What Is a Cooperative?
A cooperative is a special type of enterprise. It is a social enterprise that balances between two major objectives: satisfying its members' needs, and pursuing profit and sustainability. Agricultural and food cooperatives can be registered cooperatives, or they may take other names and forms: producer organizations, self-help groups, unions and federations of producers, or chambers of agriculture, to name a few.
Cooperatives are present in all countries and all sectors, including agriculture, food, finance, health care, marketing, insurance and credit. It is estimated that one billion individuals are members of cooperatives worldwide, generating more than 100 million jobs around the world. In agriculture, forestry, fishing and livestock, members participate in production, profit-sharing, cost-saving, risk-sharing and income-generating activities, that lead to better bargaining power for members as buyers and sellers in the market place.
Numerous success stories around the world have shown that rural institutions like producer organizations and cooperatives contribute to food security by helping small farmers, fisher folk, livestock keepers, forest holders and other producers to access the information, tools and services they need. This allows them to increase food production, market their goods and create jobs, improving their own livelihoods and increasing food security in the world.
Accumulated research and experience show that while small farmers acting alone did not benefit from higher food prices, those acting collectively in strong producer organizations and cooperatives were better able to take advantage of market opportunities and mitigate the negative effects of food and other crises.
Another powerful contribution of cooperatives and producer organizations is their ability to help small producers voice their concerns and interests – and ultimately increase their negotiating power and influence policy-making processes.
The International Year of Cooperatives in 2012 celebrates the unique role that this “business model with a social conscience” plays in our modern world. World Food Day 2012 shines a light on agricultural cooperatives in particular, and their contribution to poverty and hunger reduction. Agricultural and food cooperatives are already a major tool against poverty and hunger. 
 
Affected Groups:
  • Infants under the age of two years.
  • Children and adolescents.
  • Pregnant women and nursing mothers.
 
Malnutrition:
Malnutrition takes three forms, including:
1. Malnutrition:
Malnutrition means 'badly nourished', but is more than a measure of what we eat or fail to eat. Malnutrition is characterized by inadequate intake of protein, energy and micronutrients and by frequent infections and diseases. Starved of the right nutrition, people will die from common infections like measles or diarrhea. Malnutrition is measured not by how much food is eaten but by physical measurements of the body - weight or height - and age and laboratory analysis of blood.
 
2. Undernourishment:
Under-nourishment is used to describe the status of people whose food intake does not include enough calories (energy) to meet minimum physiological needs for an active life. At present, there are 1.02 billion undernourished people worldwide, most of them in developing countries.
 
3. Unbalanced Malnutrition:
Unbalanced Malnutrition is the nutrition that is where eating certain types of foods most of the other such as carbohydrates or fat, leading to the emergence of chronic diseases, including obesity and heart disease.
 
What are the effects of malnutrition?
Malnutrition covers a range of problems, such as being dangerously thin, being too short for one's age, being deficient in vitamins and minerals (such as lacking iron which makes you anaemic), or even being too fat (obese).
Micronutrient - vitamin and mineral - deficiencies are very important, afflicting nearly two billion people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, deficiencies of iron, vitamin A, and zinc rank among the top ten leading causes of death through disease in developing countries.
 
Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition, affecting billions of people worldwide. Iron deficiency damages a country's productivity and impedes cognitive development. Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of child blindness across developing countries. Millions children are born mentally impaired because their mothers did not consume enough iodine during pregnancy. Zinc deficiency contributes to growth failure and weakened immunity in young children; it results may lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children per year.
 
At the Local Level:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest food importers, and the Saudi society is reckoned a consumer society. Consequently, a number of diseases associated with the dietary behavior, indicating the incidence of malnutrition, have come into being among all individuals and society segments. Among these diseases are the chronic diseases, such as: obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, blood pressure, tooth decay, thinness, anemia and osteoporosis. The underlying cause of all such diseases is pursuing bad dietary habits, like eating fatty foods, using saturated fats and fast foods, just to mention some.
 
Solutions:
In view of the continued rise of the prices of basic commodities, on which the family depends, we have to find radical and viable and solutions, in an endeavor to evade the negative effects of this rise in price on the health of individuals (and, accordingly, families) who are unable to keep pace with such high prices, or afford for basic commodities. It should be noted, however, that the Global Crisis could be a good opportunity for bringing about significant changes for the advantage of our society. Food scientists have long been calling for improving the consumer lifestyle. The status quo is turning out to be the best time to make use of this crisis in solving our health problems and make a breakthrough in this domain.
  
 
 
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