Letizia of Spain and the Pope spoke at a conference in Rome on the importance of promoting better nutrition worldwide.
The Second International Nutrition Conference, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) was attended by 170 specialists and political leaders.
Queen Letizia was accompanied by Spain’s Agricultural Minister Isabel Garcia Tejerina during her first official visit to Italy since the royal couple’s coronation.
During her speech, Queen Letizia stressed that women were usually responsible for feeding their families worldwide and correctly educating them on nutritional matters could help solve malnutrition. She also explained that she believed multinational companies should join international agencies and governments to promote public health.
The Queen explained that malnutrition was the main cause of illness in the world and that while more than 850 million people in the world suffered from chronic hunger, another 1,400 million were overweight or obese.
Queen Letizia said that a sufficiently funded scientific investigation was needed to fight malnutrition and spoke of Spain’s campaigns to encourage citizens to follow WHO guidelines to limit saturated fats, sugar and salt.
Pope Francisco also spoke at the conference and criticised the economic system which he said had reduced food to just another product subject to financial speculation.
“The fight against hunger and malnutrition is hindered by market priorities and the importance of gaining profits,” said the Pope.