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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Global Nutrition Report is a Call to Action

By Michael McBurney

Countries and individuals are confronted with malnutrition which can arise from consuming insufficient amounts of essential nutrients (especially vitamins and minerals) and too much food for our activity level (overweight).  Supported by 1000 Days, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the European Commission, the Government of Canada, Irish Aid, the UK Department of International Development, and the CGIAR Agriculture for Nutrition and Health Programme, the 2014 Global Nutrition Report actions have been published from the 2013 Nutrition for Growth Summit in London.

Here are key messages:

  1. Multiple malnutrition burdens are the “new normal”. When evaluating data from 122 countries on a) under-5 stunting, b) anemia in women of reproductive age, and c) adult overweight, the majority (64%) of countries had 2 types of malnutrition and 20% had three types of malnutrition. Only 2 countries had none of the 3 types of malnutrition.
  2. While some nations are meeting 2025 World Health Assembly (WHA) targets for nutrition, too many are failing. Nutrition needs to be more strongly integrated into Sustainable Development Goals (SDA). Presently only 1 of 169 SDG goals include nutrition.

The Report identifies areas of opportunity. Nutrition-specific interventions need to be expanded to provide greater coverage. Greater efforts are needed to track and measure the impact of these investments in nutrition. Policies, laws and institutions are needed to scale nutrition actions and impact assessment. Accountability in nutrition needs to be improved. This requires measuring nutrient gaps, identifying key nutrition actions and measuring program outcomes, short- and long-term.

Finally, the 2014 Global Nutrition Report states “Malnutrition affects all countries, and it crosses generational boundaries. Confronting it requires collaborations across sectors and disciplines. It requires all groups in society – governments, civic organizations, and businesses – to come together to address it.

March is National Nutrition Month. Let’s renew our commitments.

Main Citation

Haddad L, Achadi E, Bendech MA, Ahuja A, Bhatia K, Bhutta Z, Blossner M, Borghi E, Colecraft E, de Onis M, Eriksen K, Fanzo J, Fores-Ayala R, Fracassi P, Kimani-Murage E, Koukoubou EN, Krasevec J, Newby H, Nugent R, Oenema S, Martin-Prevel Y, Randel J, Requejo J, Shyam T, Udomkesmalee E, Reddy KS. The Global Nutrition Report 2014: Actions and accountabilities to accelerate the world’s progress on nutrition. 2015 J Nutr doi: 10.3945/jn.114.206078