The prevalence of malnutrition around the world remains worrying, with Africa being the hardest-hit region, a global nutrition report launched on Thursday says.
Of 41 countries that struggle with three forms of malnutrition -- childhood stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age and overweight among women -- 30 or 73 percent are in Africa, the 2018 Global Nutrition Report says.
"The figures call for immediate action," co-chair of the report and director of the Centre for Food Policy Corinna Hawkes said. "Malnutrition is responsible for more ill-health than any other cause. The health consequences of overweight and obesity contribute to an estimated four-million deaths globally."
The report says significant steps are being made to address malnutrition, with stunting among children under five years globally falling to 22.2 percent in 2017 from 32.6 percent in 2000.
But in Africa, the trend was an increase from 50.6-million in 2000 to 58.7-million last year.
Data also showed an overall increase in both overweight and obesity in Africa, where there was a significant growth in the consumption of packaged foods.
The Global Nutrition Report tracks progress on nutrition targets, ranging from diet-related non-communicable diseases to maternal, infant and young child nutrition.
It is researched, analysed and written by the Chairs of an Independent Expert Group of world-leading academics, researchers and government representatives and supported, among others, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development (UK), USAID, Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the government of Canada, Irish Aid, The Eleanor Crook Foundation and the European Commission.