Malnutrition is a global challenge that all countries need to address. Despite some progress, the world is not on track to meet globally agreed goals and targets for nutrition. While more than 149 million children have stunted growth, childhood overweight and obesity are increasing almost everywhere, and suboptimal diets are responsible for one in five (22%) adult deaths globally. (Comment)

Original Source

Actions to address different forms of malnutrition are typically managed by separate communities, policies, programmes, governance structures, and funding streams. By contrast, double-duty actions, which aim to simultaneously tackle both undernutrition and problems of overweight, obesity, and diet-related non-communicable diseases (DR-NCDs) have been proposed as a way to effectively address malnutrition in all its forms in a more holisitic way. This Series paper identifies ten double-duty actions that have strong potential to reduce the risk of both undernutrition, obesity, and DR-NCDs.

Malnutrition has historically been researched and addressed within two distinct silos, focusing either on undernutrition, food insecurity, and micronutrient deficiencies, or on overweight, obesity, and dietary excess. However, through rapid global nutrition transition, an increasing proportion of individuals are exposed to different forms of malnutrition during the life course and have the double burden of malnutrition (DBM) directly.

Observations from many countries indicate that multiple forms of malnutrition might coexist in a country, a household, and an individual. In this Series, the double burden of malnutrition (DBM) encompasses undernutrition in the form of stunting, and overweight and obesity. Health effects of the DBM include those associated with both undernutrition, such as impaired childhood development and greater susceptibility to infectious diseases, and overweight, especially in terms of increased risk of added visceral fat and increased risk of non-communicable diseases.

The double burden of malnutrition (DBM), defined as the simultaneous manifestation of both undernutrition and overweight and obesity, affects most low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). This Series paper describes the dynamics of the DBM in LMICs and how it differs by socioeconomic level. This Series paper shows that the DBM has increased in the poorest LMICs, mainly due to overweight and obesity increases.

Note: Double Burden of Malnutrition 1 (Series)

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