The Lifesaving Power of Nutrition

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.” 

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