Food imports from vulnerable countries are predicted to decrease this year, which has raised concerns according to a study from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). However, imports from advanced economies are growing, and the overall bill could surpass a record this year.

The cost of food imports for the countries with low development was expected to decrease by 1.5 percent this year. The countries that import food net could be able to see a 4.9 percent drop, according to the FAO stated that in their bi-annual review of global markets for food published on 15 June 2023.

The decrease in import volumes for both groups is a worrying trend, which suggests a reduction in capacity to purchase, according to the report the Food Outlook.

Lower prices in international markets for many primary food items haven’t resulted in lower prices at the retail level in the United States as it was suggested, in announcing that costs of living pressures may persist through 2023.

Even then, the world food import bill was forecast to reach a record high, said FAO. It estimated that the global food bill will rise to $1.98 trillion in 2023, up by 1.5 per cent from 2022.

But, it is expected to expand at a slower rate compared to the year before because the rising costs globally reduce the demand. The global food import bill increased by 11 percent in 2022 and by 18 percent in 2021.

The price of fruits, vegetables, sugar, as well as dairy items are more expensive, putting cold water at the tap, especially those in the most economically vulnerable nations.

In addition, the world’s rice production is expected to increase by 1.3 percent in 2023-24 up to 523.5 million tonnes, whereas the international trade is predicted to decline by 4.3 percent in terms of volume to 53.6 millions tonnes.

“The anticipated output increase mostly reflects positive incentives provided by generally higher producer prices, easing fertiliser costs and continuing government assistance measures,” the FAO stated.

The production of wheat is projected to fall by 3 cents from its record-breaking highest, which was 777 tonnes in 2022. This is due to anticipated decreases within both the Russian Federation and Australia as they recorded record-breaking production in the last year.

“The declines mostly reflect the likely impacts of extreme weather events, seen leading to lower planted areas,” it said.

The most recent report included predictions of trade, production usage, stock levels and utilisation throughout the world’s top essential food products. It predicted that there will be an increase in the amount of production in all types, including coarse grains, rice, oilseeds, sugar, milk as well as fish and meat fishery products.

Despite this generally positive outlook, global agricultural production systems are still vulnerable to fluctuations, according to the report.

These shocks could be caused by extreme weather incidents, geopolitical tensions, policy shifts, and developments in other commodities markets “with the potential to tip the delicate demand-supply balances and impact prices and world food security”.

Since then, evidence about the detrimental effects of food marketing has increased. But there has been no government action, and children are still exposed to advertising for HFSS foods. WHO has warned.

The new marketing tools have also changed, with the most notable of these being the digital market, and has become an increasing risk, according to the world health organization.

The policies should be designed with the greatest interests of children, and the context of the country, WHO experts recommended. This is a consideration of the country’s nutritional situation, its cultural environment, local foods and dietary practices, as well as available resources and capabilities, as well as current governance structures and mechanisms as well as other aspects, they added.

To create the guideline an examination of the scope of evidence on the effects of food items

marketing of children and its resulting eating patterns were devised from the research of the researcher Dr Emma Boyland, University of Liverpool. A total of 179 research studies released from 2009 onwards were considered and the results showed the “marketing of HFSS foods remains pervasive and persuasive across the globe”.

After examining the research, WHO recommended mandatory regulation of the marketing of HFSS food items and non-alcoholic drinks after having made allowances for various strategies for policy.

Another alteration is the guideline’s usage of the definition of “child” taken from the Convention on the Rights of the Child to be clear that policies should safeguard all children.

The guidelines urged countries to implement a nutrient-profile model and to adopt policies that are thorough enough to limit cross-medium and intra-medium transfer to ensure that marketing is not restricted through regulated channels and setting.

Dr. Francesco Branca, Director, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, WHO said:

A shrewd and omnipresent advertising of beverages and foods with high levels of sugars, fats and salt to kids is the reason for poor dietary choices. Demands for responsible marketing haven’t had any significant effect.

Therefore, governments must establish strict and complete regulations, he added.

Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of global public health risk, contributing to undernutrition, micronutrient-related malnutrition, overweight, obesity, and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCD).

In 2017, in order to better understand the connections between food and NCDs, the Delhi-based think institute Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) conducted the Find Out Your Diet Schools students study. The online survey on diet was designed to find out the foods that children at school in India were eating.

The survey, designed for children aged 9-17 years old age, also gave an immediate diet report to every respondent. More than 13,000 children participated from a variety of states in India.

The majority of schoolchildren weren’t eating healthy meals. Around 65 percent of the children experienced a low consumption of cereals and millets, according to the study. A majority of the children were not getting enough of consumption of vegetables it revealed.