GAIN Convening Paper Series 2 - Adolescents: agents of change for a well-nourished world


Recent global initiatives, including The Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030), have highlighted the need for attention and action on issues affecting adolescents. 

One such issue is the diets of adolescents around the world, shaped by social, economic and cultural forces, which are putting the largest-ever generation of adolescents and young people at risk now and throughout their lives.

Adolescents are increasingly included in policy and decision-making but at country level, they often fall between the cracks of policy and programmes.

There is still much work to be done to create adolescent-specific policies, and to ensure that programmes have processes and outcomes that recognise the uniqueness of this group. A series of international meetings and technical discussions in Nepal, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have begun to chart the way forward.

Building on this foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) organised a consultation in Geneva in June 2018, which brought together more than 80 researchers, practitioners, policymakers and youth organisations, as well as adolescents from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Zambia. The consultation sought to accelerate progress by looking outside the nutrition sector for advice, support, partnerships and understanding of what has worked in adolescent programming, and what has not. Some clear themes emerged that can act as principles moving forward.

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