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Pope on World Food Day laments paradox of hunger, obesity

Pope Francis is calling for lifestyle and dietary changes to address the paradox of a world in which people suffer from malnutrition in some areas and obesity in others.

In a message Wednesday for the U.N.'s World Food Day, Francis lamented the "distorted relationship between food and nutrition" that he blamed on the world economy's profit-at-all-cost mentality.

Francis noted that while obesity used to be a problem of the developed world, it is increasingly wreaking havoc in poorer countries, leading to increased cases of diabetes, heart problems and even eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Pope Francis, flanked by newly appointed Vatican head of security Gianluca Gauzzi Broccoletti, bottom right, arrives for his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP PhotoAndrew Medichini)

He said: "Nutritional disorders can only be combatted by the cultivation of lifestyles inspired by gratitude for the gifts we have received and the adoption of a spirit of temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control and solidarity."

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP PhotoAndrew Medichini)

Participants at the Italian International Circus festival perform for Pope Francis during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP PhotoAndrew Medichini)

Participants at the Italian International Circus festival perform for Pope Francis during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP PhotoAndrew Medichini)

Pope Francis greets participants at the Italian International Circus festival, during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP PhotoAndrew Medichini)

Pope Francis leads his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP PhotoAndrew Medichini)

Participants at the Italian International Circus festival perform for Pope Francis during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP PhotoAndrew Medichini)