evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘double burden’

Food systems and diets: facing the challenges of the 21st century

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on September 27, 2016 at 7:26 am

from the webpage of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

(download the report here)

coverfull

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition published its new Report, Food systems and diets: Facing the challenges of the 21st century on the 23rd September 2016.

This evidence-based Report is designed to help policymakers make their food systems more supportive of high quality diets.

The need for action on malnutrition

Poor diet is the number one risk factor driving the world’s disease burden.

Three billion people from 193 countries now have low quality diets and nearly half of all countries are experiencing the simultaneous problem of serious levels of undernutrition, overweight and obesity. Yet our global understanding about the quality of our diets is limited.

The Report

Using modelling and trend analysis, the Report generates a new understanding of diets and food systems, and how they could change by 2030.

The analysis shows that if current trends continue, by 2030 nearly half of the world’s adult population will be overweight or obese, up from one third today. The poorest countries are not immune to these trends.

It also shows how these trends have enormous economic impacts at the macro and micro levels, as well major consequences for mortality and morbidity. For example, at the macro level, cost are estimated to represent an annual loss of 10% global GDP, equivalent to a global financial crisis every year.

Drawing on over 250 data sources and peer-reviewed articles, the Report lists a series of recommendations for policymakers in low and middle income countries through a ‘Call to Action’.

The Report presents evidence showing that the risk that poor diets pose to mortality and morbidity is now greater than the combined risks of unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use.

But, as the Report shows that there are many opportunities for action within the food system.

A Call to Action

This Report identifies decisions that policymakers need to take in the coming decade, particularly for women and children, to invest in effective policies to reduce all forms of malnutrition, repositioning food systems from feeding people to nourishing people.

Actions which go beyond agriculture to encompass trade, the environment and health, harnessing the power of the private sector and empowering consumers to demand better diets.

Enhancing the ability of food systems to deliver high quality diets is a choice that is well within the grasp of policymakers.  It is a choice that will help achieve the SDG goal of ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. It is a choice that will reap benefits for decades to come, for all people, in all countries.

Only a response on the scale and commitment used to tackle HIV/AIDS and malaria will be sufficient to meet the challenge, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

“This Report makes clear the enormous challenge posed by malnutrition and poor diets generally to the detriment of many millions of individuals and indeed whole economies.”

Sir John Beddington, Co-Chair of the Global Panel, and former UK Chief Scientific Advisor

Exploring the paradox: double burden of malnutrition in rural South Africa

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on April 18, 2014 at 7:11 am

by Kimani-Murage EW.

Glob Health Action. 2013 Jan 24;6:19249

(download)

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This article is a review of the PhD thesis by Elizabeth Kimani-Murage that explores the double burden of malnutrition in rural South Africa. This is in the context of a worryingly rapid increase in obesity and obesity-related diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including South Africa, and in the wake of on-going nutrition transition and lifestyle changes in these countries.

OBJECTIVE:

To understand the profiles of malnutrition among children and adolescents in a poor, high HIV prevalent, transitional society in a middle-income country.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional growth survey was conducted in 2007 targeting 4,000 children and adolescents aged 1-20 years. In addition, HIV testing was carried out on children aged 1-5 years and Tanner pubertal assessment among adolescents aged 9-20 years.

RESULTS:

The study shows stunting at an early age and adolescent obesity, particularly among girls, that co-exists in the same socio-geographic population. The study also shows that HIV is an independent modifiable risk factor for poor nutritional outcomes in children and makes a significant contribution to nutritional outcomes at the individual level. Significant predictors of undernutrition at an early age, documented at individual, household, and community levels, include child’s HIV status, age and birth weight, maternal age, age of household head, and area of residence. Significant predictors of overweight/obesity and risk for metabolic disease during adolescence, documented at individual and household levels include child’s age, sex, and pubertal development, household-level food security, socio-economic status, and household head’s highest education level.

CONCLUSIONS:

The combination of early stunting and adolescent obesity raises critical concerns in the wake of the rising public health importance of metabolic diseases in LMICs. This is because, both paediatric obesity and adult short stature are risk factors for metabolic syndrome and metabolic diseases in adulthood. Clearly, policies and interventions to address malnutrition in this and other transitional societies need to be double-pronged and gender-sensitive.

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World Bank: “The Double Burden of Malnutrition – A Review of Global Evidence”

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on October 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

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By Roger Shrimpton and Claudia Roks. WB – NP Discussion Paper Series, November 2012.

(download the book here for free – 74 pages)

Conclusions of the book (page 43; from the WB web site.):

  • “In the next two decades, most Low/Medium Income Countries (LMICs) due to their economic growth can expect rapidly increasing levels of adult overweight and obesity, which will produce an increased burden of insulin resistant diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  • “In just a few decades, two-thirds of the global population will reside in the urban areas of the current LMICs.

Unless governments take urgent measures to prevent this dire chain of events by reducing their population’s exposure to energy dense processed foods or by increasing/facilitating access to “healthy diets,” and/or increasing exercise levels across the life course, the impact on future health expenditures will be crippling and unsustainable.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: Food systems for better nutrition

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on June 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

From the FAO web site.

Malnutrition in all its forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity – imposes unacceptably high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels. Improving nutrition and reducing these costs requires a multisectoral approach that begins with food and agriculture and includes complementary interventions in public health and education. The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but the entire food system – from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption – can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition.

Agricultural policies and research must continue to support productivity growth for staple foods while paying greater attention to nutrient-dense foods and more sustainable production systems. Traditional and modern supply chains can enhance the availability of a variety of nutritious foods and reduce nutrient waste and losses. Governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society can help consumers choose healthier diets, reduce waste and contribute to more sustainable use of resources by providing clear, accurate information and ensuring access to diverse and nutritious foods.

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