Emerging Markets

Venezuela’s crisis causes its people to cut meals and lose weight

Many Venezuelans are eating two or fewer meals a day and nearly three quarters have seen their weight plummet during the country's recent economic and political crises, according to new research into the country's living standards.

Venezuela's economic crash has been an continuing problem. The oil price crash in 2014 and resulting policies by President Nicolas Maduro have led to mass shortages of food and other products, and dizzying levels of inflation. The IMF predicts inflation will reach 1,642 percent by the end of 2017.

Data from the latest Venezuela Living Conditions Survey (ENCOVI 2016) found around 81 percent of Venezuelan households are now living in income poverty, up from 75.6 percent in 2015.

People walk at the refrigerated foods section inside a Makro supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela.
Jorge Silva | Reuters

Meanwhile, 74.3 percent of the population lost an average of 8.7 kilos of weight, or 19 pounds, and around 9.6 million Venezuelans eat two or fewer meals a day.

ENCOVI 2016 is the third annual survey of conditions in the country and is produced by academics from the Central University of Venezuela, the Andrés Bello Catholic University and the Simón Bolívar University, as well as the food and nutrition group Fundación Bengoa and other NGOs.

The data was presented by academics on Friday last week. The full report has not yet been released.

People stand in line as they wait to buy staple items and basic food outside of a supermarket in El Paraiso neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela September 9, 2016.
Henry Romero | Reuters

One concern for Venezuela, and other emerging markets, is the impact of a potential "Trump trade war."

Neil Dwane, global strategist at Allianz Global Investors, discusses the appeal of investing in emerging markets with CNBC's Squawk Box. Investors can look for growth stories in emerging markets, where structural reforms will lead to better returns, according to Dwane.

"But clearly, you are running some currency and some political risks," he said.

"And we run the risk of Trump and a trade war, any tweet from now on. So we wait to see."

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