• Haider Zaman


An analysis of food production capacity in Pakistan shows that sufficient food is available inthe country. In addition, infectious diseases are on a decline, and educational and other services arereaching more and more people. Inspite of that, malnutrition persists throughout the country at highsocial and economic cost to the nation.Malnutrition can be defined as a state of human body which results from disease factors orfrom inadequate intake of nutrients, that affect digestion, absorption, transport and utilization ofnutrients. This can be traced to internal as well as external factors. Internal factors are physiologicalin nature, which are usually caused by infectious diseases leading to pathological conditions.External factors on the other hand, are economic, social, political and cultural in nature which caninfluence the process of production and distribution in the society.Keeping in view the complex nature of the problem of malnutrition globally, freedom fromhunger and malnutrition was declared a basic human right in the Universal Declaration of HumanRights1 in 1948. The importance of this right was reiterated in the United Nations World FoodConference2 in 1974, and elimination of hunger and malnutrition was adopted as one of the goals ofthe Third Development Decade. The concerns expressed at the global level adequately signify thegravity of the problem, to alleviate which actions must be initiated at the national level.


Article 25, para 1.

Article 24.

Government of Pakistan, National Institute of Health; National Nutrition Survey 1985-1987 Report;

, Islamabad.

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