Alesandro and Brian
Identify global patterns of calorie intake as one measure of food availability.
Calorie intake is one of the measures used to determine the alimentary situation in a country or a certain area. To be healthy one needs a balanced diet, and on average a daily amount of 2400 calories. A balanced diet can be different from person to person but in general the diet must contain different types of food in order to build and maintain the body and to regulate its various functions and to provide energy. To be satisfactory it must contain carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.

In the world there are diets of plenty and diets of hunger. Diets of plenty are typical of MEDCs as the population has access to ‘plenty’ of food. On the other hand diets of hunger are present mostly in developing countries and LEDCs as the population suffers hunger. In many developing countries people do not get the required daily allowance (RDA).
Calorie intake is able to give us a good idea of how much access a population has to food by giving us an average number. Depending how far or close that number is to the calculated mark, (approximately 2400) we can determine whether a country’s population is lacking or has abundance of food.
Countries such as the US and European countries have quite high calorie intake levels, which signify there is a wide access to food. In fact these countries are developed and the people on average have a pretty high quality of life.
On the other hand, countries such as Africa show low levels of calorie intake. In fact the country is a LEDC and its populations often suffer famines and malnutrition.
It is also very important to have a balanced diet, without exceeding of one type of nutrient or lacking another. For examples in MEDCs people suffer diseases of affluence because of their unbalanced diets, full of fats and ‘junk’ food. Instead people in LEDCs suffer diseases of poverty because they do not get enough vitamin or protein.

Distinguish between malnutrition, temporary hunger, chronic hunger and famine.

  • The two main types of hunger are periodic, or temporary and chronic. Chronic hunger is a long term problem, whilst as the name suggests periodic only lasts for a limited period of time. This type of hunger is usually caused by events such as natural disasters, wars, drought and political upheaval.
  • Malnutrition, also known as starvation, instead is when a person consumes fewer calories and proteins then the ones necessary to stay healthy. Also access to a balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins is necessary to be well nourished. According to the WHO, 1/3 of the children in LEDCs are malnourished.
  • A famine is a widespread scarcity of food. There are different types of famine and causes for it. The main causes are poor yeilds and problems with transport of the food. Poverty, inappropriate physical infrastructure, inappropriate social infrastructure, a suppressive political regime,and a weak or under-prepared government are all factors that make it easier for famine to spread.

Discuss the concept of food security.
Food security refers to the availability of food and the access to it. The WHO gave the definition : when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.
Food security is built on three pillars:
  • Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
  • Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
  • Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.

Food security is a complex sustainable development issue, linked to health through malnutrition, but also to sustainable economic development, environment, and trade. There is a great deal of debate around food security with some arguing that:
  • There is enough food in the world to feed everyone adequately; the problem is distribution.
  • Future food needs can - or cannot - be met by current levels of production.
  • National food security is paramount - or no longer necessary because of global trade.
  • Globalization may - or may not - lead to the persistence of food insecurity and poverty in rural communities.

Examine the geographic factors responsible for the incidence and spread of two diseases. The two main types of diffusion are expansion and relocation diffusion. In expansion the disease develops in a source area and spreads out from there and contemporarily remains strong in its origin area. It mainly takes place in populations whose locations are stable and fixed. The disease is moving, not the people. Contrarily, relocation diffusion involves the movement of individuals who carry the disease to new locations. When this type of diffusion occurs the disease often evacuates the source area along with the person who is the carrier.

AIDS is passed on only to people who have contact with the carriers, and by-passes the ones who have no contact with them. The main problem with the diffusion of AIDS was the travelers and tourists, as the disease originated in Central Africa and Guinea-Bissau, but was able to spread to all of the world in less than two decades. Lack of education is the main barrier to overcome when dealing with AIDS, because people do not know how it spreads.

On the other hand malaria is vector borne. In fact, the main objective of malaria vector control is to significantly reduce the rate and number of cases of both parasite infection and clinical malaria. This is achieved by controlling the malaria-bearing mosquito and thereby reducing or interrupting transmission. The climate helps the sickness to spread, as in colder places where mosquitos are not able to live, malaria is practically inexistent.
Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are two basic elements of malaria control. Early and effective treatment of malaria can shorten the duration of the infection and prevent further complications including the great majority of deaths.