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Urgent funds to improve nutrition necessary-report

Urgent funds to improve nutrition necessary-report

A new report has alerted on a need for a step-change in activity to improve diets and combat malnutrition in all its forms.

The report dubbed Global Nutrition Report (GNR) is a yearly survey and analysis of the most recent data on nutrition and related health issues in the globe.

It indicates that current diets, which have not improved in the last decades, are now posing a major threat to health and the planet.

The report called for urgent funding to improve nutrition across the globe, particularly as Covid-19 has pushed an estimated additional 155 million people into extreme poverty.

"To reach the significant social, economic, and environmental gains potential, there has to be a step-change in activity to improve inadequate diets and combat malnutrition in all its forms," stated Prof Renata Micha, Chair of the GNR’s Independent Expert Group.

Prof Micha, who doubles as Associate Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Thessaly in Greece, also said that the report further says that contrary to scientific guidance, fruit and vegetable intake was below the recommended 5 servings per day (60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively), while red and processed meat is on the rise at almost five times the maximum recommendation of one serving per week.

"While poor diets are present everywhere, there are notable inequalities in food consumption with lower-income countries having the lowest intake of health-promoting foods and higher-income countries having the highest intake of food with harmful health effects," says the report.

Nearly half of the world's population suffers from poor nutrition linked to too much or not enough food, with wide-ranging consequences for health and the environment, according to a new global report released on Wednesday.

It says 48 per cent of people today consume too little or too much, resulting in overweight, obesity, or underweight.

As shown in the analysis, the world will miss eight of the nine nutrition targets set by the World Health Organization for 2025 if current trends continue.

Reduced child wasting (when children are too thin for their height) and child stunting (when children are too short for their age), as well as adult obesity, are among these targets.

Nearly 150 million children under the age of five are 'stunted', over 45 million are 'wasted', and nearly 40 million are overweight. Over 40 per cent of adults (2.2 billion people) are now overweight, according to the report.

According to the report, about 118 million more individuals were being affected by hunger in 2020 than in 2019 and Covid-19 also adversely affect those with obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases. The pandemic has diverted resources and put nutrition funds in jeopardy.

Shawn Baker, the chair of the Global Nutrition Report's Stakeholder Group and the Chief Nutritionist for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said the global community has the expertise and resources to combat the effects of inadequate diets and malnutrition.

"The rates in the Global Nutrition Report for 2021 are unacceptably high. When we meet in December for the Nutrition for Growth Summit, we must commit to the evidence-based solutions and additional funding that are required to address these concerns," he said.

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