Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Nutrition for 21st Century

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Nutrition for 21st Century

Article excerpt

An ambitious new agenda--in the form of a Political Declaration and Framework for Action to improve nutritional health for the next 10 years--was presented to a major United Nations conference in Rome, Italy, last month.

The agenda addresses the nutritional problems of the 21st century, including undernutrition, which affects an estimated 805 million people, as well as micronutrient deficiencies, obesity or other consequences of poor diet, which affect a third of the world's population.

The political declaration refers to six goals that were approved by the World Health Assembly in May: a 40% reduction in children less than 5 years of age who are stunted; a 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age; a 30% reduction in low birth weight; the prevention of a further increase in childhood overweight; a 50% increase in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months; and a reduction in childhood wasting to less than 5%.

"If current trends continue, the world will not meet these goals in a decade," said Dr Francesco Branca, director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. …

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