Despite advances in technology, particularly in the area relating to food production, many people, especially in the developing and underdeveloped countries continue to suffer from adverse effects of inadequate food intake. When people do not have enough to eat or the kind of food they eat do not translate to good nutrition, their health suffers. When their health is poor, they are prevented from developing fully their innate potentials and hence from productively engaging in most human activities, primarily economic activities. This situation limits their contribution to national development.
The obtaining of inadequate and poor quality of food intake of people in these places does not have anything to do with the overall capacity of the earth to provide enough food for everybody. Indeed, while some people in certain places die of starvation, people in other places generally have more than enough food; some die even from having eaten too much. In some countries, house pets such as cats and dogs eat better balanced food than some other human beings.
The importance of underscoring the need to address the issue of the want of food was acknowledged at the UN General Assembly in 2000. Participants to this assembly, who were mainly heads of state, formulated what is now known as the eight millennium goals. The first of these goals is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by the year 2015.