Breakout Session #3

What the World Eats (from Facing the Future Curriculum)

LEQ: What are some possible root causes of malnutrition?

Objectives: Students will be able to

  • Connect a country’s geographic, economic, and sociopolitical features with its degree of food security
  • Extrapolate information from a map of world hunger
  • Discuss root causes of food scarcity


  • Handout: What the World Eats, 1 per pair
  • World map available for students to locate countries
  • Handout: FAO Hunger Map 2010, 1 color copy to display


  1. Pairs Read: Students will read about food security (availability versus scarcity). What does it mean to be “food secure”? What factors might contribute to food security?
  2. Distribute a copy of the handout, What the World Eats, to each student. This should be completed in student pairs.
    1. Allow students at least 20 minutes to try to match the 8 countries with their consumption and health statistics. Students should complete the first and last columns.
      1. Students should do this in pencil as mistakes may be made
  3. When students have completed the handout, stop for a quick discussion.


  1. What features of a country appear to be associated with high caloric availability per person?
  2. What features of a country seem to be correlated with low caloric availability per person?
  3. How does caloric intake available per person correlate with life expectancy?
  4. What additional factors do you think might influence this relationship?
  5. Can you predict a country’s overweight population based on caloric intake available? If not, what other factors might influence a population’s likelihood of being overweight?

Lesson Continued

  1. Show students the interactive map of world hunger. The map provided is visible online.
  2. Ask them to study the map for a few minutes.
  3. Ask them to discuss the map with a partner sitting near them. What generalities can you make about world hunger from this map? What factors might be driving hunger in these places?
  4. Have a brief discussion, asking pairs to share the ideas they discussed.
  5. Conclude with a discussion using the following questions.


  1. Why are maps like the FAO World Hunger Map useful tools? How could they be used to inform policy and decision-making?
  2. What are possible unintended consequences of generalizing about a region based on information like the World Hunger Map?
  3. Which countries appear to be the most food insecure? How do you know?
  4. What factors seem to be correlated with food insecurity? Can you think of any other possible factors that would either contribute to food scarcity or be a consequence of food scarcity?
  5. For the more food insecure countries, what would you recommend to move them toward greater food security?