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Malnutrition is one of the biggest challenges which is staring in the face of humanity today. Why malnutrition should be a concern for every citizen?? The recently released Global Nutrition Report 2016 throws light on the importance of tackling the challenge of malnutrition. The Global Nutrition Report is the only independent and comprehensive annual review of the state of the world’s nutrition.
Affects One-third Humanity: Malnutrition is a condition that directly affects one in three people globally which makes it more than 2 billion people.
Economic Burden: It has huge economic costs for the society. It causes the loss 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) every year in Africa and Asia, whereas preventing malnutrition delivers $16 in returns on investment for every $1 spent.
Major Driver of Disease: Malnutrition and poor diets are a major driver of the global burden of disease which puts families under the strain of economic burden and pushes the vulnerable families into poverty. An undernourished child has weak immunity to fight with the infections and disease which further compounds the health problems in later life.
Under-development of Cognitive Abilities: A malnourished child is less likely to develop her cognitive abilities to the fullest potential as compared to a well-nourished child. Under development of cognitive potential becomes a barrier for the child to live a healthy and productive life.
The Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal 2 is aimed at ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030. As per the GNR 2016 there are variations in the way countries have been approaching towards their targets. Some countries are on the track while some are yet to take important measures to remove this ill. Some of the broad urgent actions that the GNR urges the global community and states to take are:
- Commitment to end all forms of malnutrition: The report urges the commitment of all the stakeholders be it government, civil society and private sector to give adequate focus on forms of malnutrition including the rapidly rising problem of obesity and non-communicable diseases in developing countries.
- The GNR calls for greater investments by the states to make sure that required resources are in place to tackle this challenge.
- Data gaps are a significant roadblock to nutrition progress throughout the world. Every country has a different nutrition context and should gather the national and sub-national data it needs to understand—and act on—its own unique situation.
- Countries need to come up with the innovative solutions that are suitable to their own national contexts. For example developing the ready- to-eat nutritious foods which are in alignment with the local supply chains can be important.
- Tackling malnutrition in all of its forms. The report highlights the challenge of obesity and non-communicable diseases like diabetes which have emerged at a quick pace in the developing countries. GNR 2016 urges the countries to take preventive steps to check the growth of these forms of malnutrition.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of author in the private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of employer.
 It is a multipartner initiative that holds a mirror up to our successes and failures at meeting intergovernmental nutrition targets. It documents progress on commitments made on the global stage, and it recommends actions to accelerate that progress.(Press release of GNR 2016)
 Global Nutrition Report 2016