Covid-19 and climate change have exacerbated malnutrition in all its forms and threatened the sustainability and resilience of food systems around the world.
Among its obligations it included expanding initiatives to prevent and manage overweight and obesity, stepping up activities to create food environments that promote safe and healthy diets, supporting countries in addressing acute malnutrition, speeding up actions on anemia reduction, scaling up quality breastfeeding promotion and support, and strengthening nutrition data systems, data use and capacity.
Today, one third of all people around the world are affected by at least one form of malnutrition. Over 40% of all men and women (2.2 billion people) are now overweight or obese. While unhealthy diets are linked to at least 8 million deaths per year.
With current trends projecting that one in two people will be malnourished by 2025, and an estimated 40 million children will suffer from obesity or overweight in the next decade.
In marginalized communities, child malnutrition and food insecurity are on the rise. Last year, 149 million children had stunted growth due to poor diets, lack of access to clean water and health services, and other accessibility issues.
“Today, less than 1% of global development assistance focuses on nutrition,” said Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition and Food safety. “There needs to be accelerated action to end unhealthy diets and malnutrition, and WHO’s new commitments to the Nutrition for Growth Summit reflects this. The Nutrition for Growth Summit is a tremendous opportunity to accelerate action during the 2016-2025 Decade of Action on Nutrition.”