Improved nutrition could save 3.7 million lives by 2025, according to a new WHO report.
Investing in ideal nutrition for each life stage helps address malnutrition's double burden: underweight/stunting in some populations, and obesity and cancer in others.
Globally, stunting has declined from 39.2% of children under 5 having a low height-for-age ratio in 1990 to 21.9% in 2018, reports Xinhua in an overview of WHO data. But, during that same time, the prevalence of overweight children rose from 4.8% to 5.9%. Among adults, 13% of the global population is now obese.
Proposed interventions include:
- Iron and folic acid supplements for antenatal care
- Promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding
- Limiting intake of free sugars and salt
“Nutrition should be positioned as one of the cornerstones of essential health packages,” says WHO’s Naoko Yamamoto, adding: “We also need better food environments which allow all people to consume healthy diets.”