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Stunted, wasted: on Global Nutrition Report 2018
The 2018 Global Nutrition Report was released and shares insights into the current state of global nutrition, highlighting the unacceptably high burden of malnutrition in the world.
What is the report?
- It identifies areas where progress has been made in recent years but argues that it is too slow and too inconsistent.
- It puts forward five critical steps that are needed to speed up progress to end malnutrition in all its forms and argues that, if we act now, it is not too late to achieve this goal. In fact, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do so.
Findings of the report (India) :
- One third of the world’s stunted children under five — an estimated 46.6 million who have low height for age — live in India.
- A quarter of the children display wasting (that is, low weight for height) as well.
- District-level data show high and very high levels of stunting mainly in central and northern India (more than 30% and 40%, respectively), but less than 20% in almost the entire south.
- Stunting in children under five years of age is declining at a global level but numbers in Africa are increasing, and there are significant disparities in progress at the subnational level.
- At global level, progress in addressing underweight and anaemia among women has been extremely slow while overweight and obesity among adults is getting worse, with higher rates of obesity among women than men.
- Several countries are on course to meet at least one of the globally adopted nutrition targets set for 2025, but most are off-track and none are making progress on the full suite of target
- Different forms of malnutrition continue to compound one another – with new analysis further confirming this reality.
- Crises around the world are increasingly protracted and significantly hamper tackling all forms of malnutrition.
- There has been an increase in the number and breadth of national nutrition policies and nutrition targets, with the outstanding challenge being the financing and action to deliver them.
- Donors have met the funding commitment made at the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit in 2013, but globally there is still a significant financing gap.
- Early indications suggest that governments in low and middle-income countries are committing more domestic expenditure to nutrition.
Way forward/ Improvements
- More and better data is enabling us to more fully understand what people are eating and why it matters – but shows that diets in all countries and wealth groups pose a significant threat to achieving nutrition targets.
- Healthy diet policies and programmes are proving effective in countries, cities and communities but overall there is inadequate delivery of a holistic package of actions.
- The world is paying more attention to the importance of improving nutrition among adolescents, but their diets warrant greater focus.
Five critical steps needed to speed up progress
1: Break down silos between malnutrition in all its forms
The data shows that different forms of malnutrition coexist but are being tackled at different rates, vary between populations, and overlap with each other in various ways. Therefore they require integrated approaches and cohesive work to address them. Different communities – the humanitarian, obesity, NCD and micronutrient communities for example – must work together to ensure the different burdens are tackled efficiently and effectively.
2: Prioritise and invest in the data needed and capacity to use it
- Designing actions that result in impact is impossible without adequate knowledge of who is affected by malnutrition and why.
- The progress made in recent years in gathering, collating and analysing data presented in the 2018 Global Nutrition Report shows how investing in data can help inform the nutrition response.
- Governments, international organisations, research organisations and academic institutions must continue this ongoing data revolution in nutrition.
3.Scale up financing for nutrition – diversify and innovate to build on past progress
Every year the Global Nutrition Report calls for more financing for nutrition: ultimately, without adequate and appropriate funds invested towards all forms of malnutrition, we cannot make progress.