Conflict and political crises continue to dominate Afghanistan’s media profile. At the same time, there is another crisis that does not make it into the headlines. That is the silent crisis of malnutrition. This burden undermines the development efforts of all stakeholders: the government, the private sector, civil society, the UN and other development partners.
Next year’s Global Nutrition Summit in Japan marks the start of a demanding Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) race to end malnutrition by 2030. But if we are to have any chance of crossing the finishing line in time, we have to run a different race to the one we have been running for the past 5 years.
First, how do we have to eat differently to significantly reduce malnutrition? Second, what food production systems do we have to put in place to use natural resources sustainably and live within climate change targets? The EAT Lancet Report is a landmark because it answers these two questions simultaneously.
The EAT-Lancet Commission is the first robust, extensive review of the evidence combining criteria for healthy dietary changes with environmental analyses of food system’s impacts, to find common ground that results in recommendations for food systems transformation. It is an impressive piece of work; a daunting task to include all the key components and supporting analyses into a single journal article.
Two-thirds of all countries mandate food fortification to combat hidden hunger, yet many are not necessarily translating policy into improved nutrition, according to new data from the Global Fortification Data Exchange (GFDx). These countries may be missing an immense opportunity to improve the health of children and mothers, bolster communities, and boost national economies.
Wherever you look in the global food system, there are obvious differences between men and women. These differences are not only intrinsically unjust, they also have functional consequences. And the societal differences between men and women drive malnutrition in the next generation, with both women’s education and the degree of gender equality having been shown to be strong determinants of stunting in children.
GAIN has improved its performance on gender equality in 2019 Global Health 50/50: Equality Works report. Following a positive score in the 2018 report with room for improvement, GAIN has actively engaged in the strengthening its commitment to gender equality, by making its workplace gender policy publicly available and balancing board parity. Thanks to internal efforts, these indicators marked green on the 2019 edition.
FAO and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have agreed to join forces to increase the availability and affordability of nutritious food for all in developing countries. The two organisations will also work to make urban food systems more nutrition-sensitive, through support to GAIN’s Urban Governance for Nutrition Programme and FAO’s Urban Food Agenda.
5000 adolescent girls – known as the "Golden Girls" – assembled on 19 December 2017 in the Sultana Kamal Mohila Complex, Dhaka, to celebrate the launch of the national "Adolescent Nutrition Campaign". For the Golden Girls – and many more adolescent girls in the country – this campaign represents a window of opportunity to push further the development of Bangladesh.
I just finished reading ‘Why you eat what you eat' by Professor Rachel Herz. Fascinating, and together with Professor Michael Spence’s “Gastrophysics” it caused me to reflect on the radical changes we need to effectively promote healthy and nutritious diets, and reverse the out-of-control trends in malnutrition affecting every country.