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The hungriest places on Earth

The average American will eat 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving. In other countries, most people will eat less than half that in a single day, and many will eat much, much less.

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(AFP/Getty Images)

Between 2010 and 2012, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 870 million people weren't able to eat enough to satisfy their bodies’ daily requirement of energy.

This Thanksgiving, like every Thanksgiving, the average American will eat far more than he or she needs to. The average daily caloric intake of an American is now 3,770 calories. On Thanksgiving, that average jumps to 4,500.

Many of us will sit around large tables, eating too much, drinking too much, and avoiding conversations about religion or politics. Someone will fall into a tryptophan coma. Someone might joke that we should clear our plates because people are starving in Africa. We are thankful for the 4,500 calories in our bellies. It’s time to watch professional sports on TV.

Meanwhile, people really are starving all around the world. And it’s worth remembering it on a day of gluttonous food consumption followed by another day — Black Friday — of gluttonous material consumption. Even in the United States, where food assistance programs are being cut, food pantries and charity Thanksgiving meals will be packed this Thursday.

Elsewhere around the globe, things are much, much worse. While the average American consumes 4,500 calories this Thanksgiving, people in these 15 countries will consume less than half of that amount, if they are lucky, and much, much less if they are not.

There are several metrics for assessing and describing hunger. This list is arranged by the number of calories available each day to the average person. The average daily calories available for American is 3,800.

Additional categories include: the percentage of a country's population that is undernourished; the country's calorie deficit, or the daily number of calories that each undernourished person would need to eat to become nourished; and the Global Hunger Index ranking, which uses a combination of metrics to rank at-risk countries from 1 to 78, with 78 being the most at-risk country.

These are the hungriest countries in the world.

 

15) North Korea: 2,240 calories per day


Residents drying crops outside their homes at a collective farm in North Korea. (Ian Timberlake/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 31 percent

Calorie deficit: 238

GHI ranking: 51 (tied with Kenya)

 

14) Rwanda: 2,240 calories per day


A Rwandan tea picker at the Mulindi tea plantation, in Byumba, Rwanda. (Gianluigi Guercia/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 29.7 percent

Calorie deficit: 201

GHI ranking: 41

 

13) Tanzania: 2,210 calories per day


(Jacqui Deelstra)

Undernourished: 33 percent

Calorie deficit: 221

GHI ranking: 62

 

12) Kenya: 2,180 calories per day


Napolos Esho sun-dries the remainder of her maize after her crop was destroyed by elephants near Narok, Kenya. (Getty Images)

Undernourished: 25.8 percent

Calorie deficit: 166

GHI ranking: 51 (tied with North Korea)

 

11) Mozambique: 2,180 calories per day


A health worker protests in Maputo, Mozambique in 2013. (Jinty Jackson/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 36.8 percent

Calorie deficit: 269

GHI ranking: 64

 

10) Democratic Republic of Congo: 2,170 calories per day


Displaced People at a food distribution center near Goma on May 25, 2013. (Junior D. Kannah/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 33 percent

Calorie deficit: 234

GHI ranking: 61

 

9) Madagascar: 2,160 calories per day


A child sells peanuts on Oct. 22, 2013 in a street of Antananarivo, Madagascar. (Stephane de Sakutin/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 27.2 percent

Calorie deficit: 176

GHI ranking: 70

 

8) Comoros: 2,110 calories per day


Comoran women sell homemade bread at the Volovolo market. (Simon Maina/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 65.3 percent

Calorie deficit: 655

GHI ranking: 76

 

7) Swaziland: 2,100 calories per day


A boy holds a plate as pupils line up for school lunch in Bulembu, Swaziland. (Stephane de Sakutin/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 35.8 percent

Calorie deficit: 262

GHI ranking: 35

 

6) Palestinian Territories: 2,090 calories per day


A young Palestinian boy takes bags of food aid from the United Nations in the Gaza Strip. (Mahmud Hams/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 31.8 percent

Calorie deficit: 211

GHI ranking: unranked

 

5) Haiti: 1,980 calories per day


Haitian women get sacks containing rice in Port-au-Prince on March 6, 2010. (Eitan Abramovich/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 49.8 percent

Calorie deficit: 431

GHI ranking: 67

 

4) Timor Este: 1,920 calories per day


A woman selects vegetables at the market in Dili, Timor Este. (Valentino de Sousa/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 38.3 percent

Calorie deficit: 254

GHI ranking: 75

 

3) Zambia: 1,910 calories per day


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe samples meat products in Zambia. (Joseph Mwenda/GettyImages)

Undernourished: 43.1 percent

Calorie deficit: 306

GHI ranking: 69

 

2) Eritrea: 1,730 calories per day


Eritrean farmers herd a team of donkeys into the capital Asmara. (Peter Martell/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 61.3 percent

Calorie deficit: 488

GHI ranking: 77

 

1) Burundi: 1,670 calories per day


A cyclist im Burundi transports goods to the capital, Bujumbura. (Roberto Schmidt/Getty Images)

Undernourished: 67.3 percent

Calorie deficit: 581

GHI ranking: 78

Countries not included in this list but that rank below 50 in the Global Hunger Index include: Sudan, Chad, Yemen, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, India, Niger, Djibouti, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Uganda, Angola, Laos, Namibia, Liberia.

Add those countries to the 15 listed here, and you've got the 28 hungriest countries on Earth.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/131127/thanksgiving-the-hungriest-places-earth