Meeting the Nutritional Challenge
Nearly two billion people suffer from malnutrition.
But 1.9 billion are also overweight.
The world faces many seemingly intractable problems. Malnutrition should not be one of them. The Global Nutrition Report has begun tracking the annual progress of nutrition (or malnutrition).
The Global Nutrition Report is an annual report that assesses progress in improving nutrition outcomes and identifies actions to accelerate progress and strengthen accountability in nutrition in 193 countries of the world. It was called for at the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit, held in London in 2013 and hosted by the Governments of Brazil and the United Kingdom and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).
Tackling malnutrition effectively is key to meeting many other Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.
1-Signals the realization of people’s rights to food and health.
2-Reflects a narrowing of the inequalities in our world.
3-Without good nutrition, human beings cannot achieve their full potential.
When people’s nutrition status improves,
It helps break the intergenerational cycle of poverty,
Generates broad based economic growth, and
Leads to a host of benefits for individuals, families, communities, and countries.
Good nutrition provides both a foundation for human development and the scaffolding needed to ensure it reaches its full potential.
Good nutrition is thus, an essential driver of sustainable development.
Malnutrition takes many forms:
Children and adults who are skin and bone,
Children who do not grow properly,
People who suffer because their diets are imbalanced, and
People who are obese or suffer from nutrition-related non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Malnutrition affects all countries and one in three people on the planet. Nearly half of all countries face multiple serious burdens of malnutrition such as poor child growth, micronutrient deficiency, and adult overweight.
The three implementation targets to achieve SDG-2 are:
Achieve food security, and
Improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
New government data show that nearly all Indian states posted significant declines in stunting rates from 2006 to 2014, and all showed strong increases in exclusive breastfeeding rates over the same period.
• Seventy out of 74 countries are on course to meet at least one of the five nutrition World Health Assembly (WHA) targets.
• Thirty-nine of 114 countries are on course to meet the WHA stunting target compared with the corresponding number of 23 in 2014.
• Only 32 of 78 countries are on course for the exclusive breastfeeding target, while
• Six countries show large reversals in rates.
• Progress on meeting the under-5 overweight target has improved modestly.
• New analysis shows that in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Pakistan, the percentage of children under age 5 who are not stunted or wasted ranges between 43 and 48%. Which means that Children growing up healthy are in a minority.
• In all but one country for which WHO data are available, the prevalence of adult overweight and obesity are increasing.
World Health Assembly SDG target of ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030
While the numbers of people affected by different types of malnutrition cannot simply be summed (because a single person can suffer from more than one type of malnutrition), the scale of malnutrition is staggering:
• 2 billion people experience micronutrient malnutrition (WHO 2015);
• 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese (WHO 2015);
• 161 million children under age 5 are too short for their age (stunted),
• 51 million don’t weigh enough for their height (wasted), and
• 42 million are overweight; none of these children are growing healthily
• 794 million people are estimated to be calorie deficient (FAO 2015); and
• 1 in 12 adults worldwide have Type 2 diabetes (WHO 2015c).
• In many countries, only a minority of children are growing healthily.
SOME KEY FINDINGS
1. For the WHA nutrition indicators of stunting, wasting, and overweight in children under age 5, the trends in the number of countries meeting global targets are positive, especially for stunting.
2. For stunting, 39 of 114 countries with data are on course to meet the global target, compared with 24 in 2014. In 2015, 60 countries are off course but making some progress.
3. For wasting, 67 of 130 countries with data are on course (defined as < 5 percent prevalence). For countries in both the 2014 and 2015 datasets, the number of countries on course has increased from 59 to 63. 4. Less than half of children under age 5 avoid stunting or wasting in five large low-income countries: Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. 5. Nearly all states in India showed significant declines in child stunting between 2006 and 2014. However, three states with very high rates in 2006—Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh—showed some of the slowest declines. Changes in wasting rates are more variable across states. 6. For exclusive breastfeeding, 32 of 78 countries with data are on course, 10 are off course but making some progress, 30 are off course and making no progress, while 6 are off course and show large reversals in rates (Cuba, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, and Turkey). New data from India show that exclusive breastfeeding rates have nearly doubled in the past eight years. 7. All 193 countries are off course for the WHA target of no increase in adult overweight and obesity (body mass index ≥ 25); in fact, rates increased in every country between 2010 and 2014. Countries’ rates of increase range from 0.2 to 4.3 percent and average 2.3 percent globally. Country progress varies across regions. 8. The proposed 2030 WHA nutrition targets from WHO represent a useful basis on which to establish a broader consensus on these targets. (For full-fledged report, log onto:- http://ebrary.ifpri.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/129443/filename/129654.pdf)