An analysis conducted by WHO in 1991 and 1992 indicated that death rates from diseases related to diet and life-style (heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes) have increased significantly in many countries during the past 30 years, largely owing to changes in diet and life-style. 40 high-income countries have diet-related disorders, and as many as 80 middle-income nations may have both undernutrition and overnutrition problems. Undernutrition is widespread in some 50 low-income countries and is associated with a high incidence of stunting and micronutrient deficiencies (especially iron, iodine, and vitamin A). Diet-related deficiencies affect 2000 million people. WHO scientists reviewed data from 26 developed and 16 developing countries from the period 1960-89: 20 countries showed increases ranging up to 160% in death rates from diet-related and life-style-related causes. The biggest decreases were in Australia, Canada, Japan, and the USA where education advised people to limit intakes of fat, saturated fat, and salt as well as to increase exercise and reduce smoking. Data on food availability for 1988-90 showed that an estimated 786 million people in developing countries were chronically undernourished. Hunger and malnutrition affect many of the 123 million people living in 11 countries where the food situation is critical. Some 192 million children 5 years of age suffer from protein-energy malnutrition characterized by retardation of physical growth and lowered resistance to infections. 55 million of these underweight children are in south Asian countries. In these countries, about half of all deaths occur before 5 years of age, and the majority of these deaths are caused by diarrheal disease. It is estimated that up to 70% of diarrhea cases are food-borne in origin. There are 1500 million episodes of diarrhea annually in children 5 years of age, killing 3 million of them.
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