Asia’s booming tiger economies, population juggernauts and low- and middle-income countries are home to approximately 70% of the world’s population. The story of nutrition in this region is as multifaceted as the region itself, defying sweeping generalizations that otherwise mask important nuances.
While Asia’s more affluent nations are on par with or even surpass industrialized counterparts in other regions, however, a critical mass of the region’s population – particularly that pro- portion living in the least developed parts of it – continues to struggle with poverty, poor nutrition and poor health outcomes. Asia has come a long way and seen successes in taming malnutrition and communicable diseases that were once problems of public health significance in many of its countries. Yet, because the region is vast and its population base massive compared to other regions, ongoing nutrition problems affect Asian popula- tions on a scale vastly greater than in those other regions. Asia’s transitional and emerging economies (India, Indonesia, Paki- stan, Bangladesh) represent nearly half (45%) of the population base of the top 10 most populous countries in the world.
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