Publications: Nutrition

Time for Action - A renewed UK commitment to nutrition

5 October 2021
The UK has played an active role in tackling malnutrition since founding the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) initiative, alongside Japan and Brazil, and hosting the first ever Nutrition for Growth summit in 2013. The December 2021 Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit is a crucial opportunity to pledge commitments that will help reverse the rise in malnutrition caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcomes of the Summit will be decisive for the future health, development and economic potential of...

Malnutrition is sexist - The determinants of nutrition for women and girls

2 June 2021

Malnutrition is the single largest cause of death among women. Women and girls living with lower incomes face more barriers to accessing healthy food than men. To realise women and girls’ rights, gender equality should be considered as a social determinant of nutrition.

This briefing aims to explain the disproportionate impact of malnutrition on women and girls. It argues that the most meaningful way to improve nutrition among women and girls is to address the various underlying...

Nutrition as a Human Right: adopting a rights-based approach to food in the context of COVID-19

20 January 2021

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic provoked a global health crisis, with a significant impact on the existing burden of malnutrition. Now, many more children will face an unprecedented nutrition crisis and are at risk of death from preventable causes.

Taking necessary measures to tackle the secondary effects of COVID-19 on food security and malnutrition will require a rights-based approach, which should guide the UK Government’s current and future policies and programmes on nutrition....

Nutrition for Growth: ICAN UK's Recommendations to the UK Government

16 October 2020

Nearly half of all deaths of children under five are attributable to undernutrition. Malnutrition is a hurdle right at the start of a child’s development. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to slow progress and risks pushing more children into malnourishment. Despite a strong position as a global leader in tackling malnutrition, the UK government’s current commitment to nutrition expires in 2020.

This document is the International Coalition for Advocacy on Nutrition (ICAN) UK's...

Invest in nutrition to ensure children meet their potential, say UK public

15 October 2020

A recent poll found that the majority of the UK public support calls for the UK Government to step up in the fight against malnutrition. The poll comes on World Food Day, as charities urgently press the Government to renew their commitments to tackle global malnutrition, which are set to expire at the end of this year.

Malnutrition contributes to 45% of all under-5 deaths worldwide. It is estimated that 487 more children per day could die of undernutrition in 2020 than was predicted...

Nutrition: The key to unlocking UK aid's impact

23 January 2020

In 2018, 5.3 million children under the age of five died, with undernutrition being the a key cause in nearly half those deaths. At the same time, low- and middle-income countries are wintessing a rise in child overweight and obesity. One in three children globally suffers from one or more forms of the triple-burden of malnutrition - undernutrition, mirconutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity. In October 2019, the Secretary of State for International Developmet recommitted to...

A Global Leader: The UK's role in ending malnutrition

24 April 2019

Malnutrition is caused by having key nutrients missing from your diet. It is responsible for more ill health than any other cause. Malnutrition prevents vaccines from working and devastates immune systems. This can cause death, lifelong serious illness and dramatically hinders the ability for countries and communities to develop economically. The good news is that malnutrition is preventable and treatable - and 2020 will be a key moment in the fight to end it once and for all.

The UK...

The Malnourished Middle: Breaking the cycle of malnutrition in middle-income countries

14 March 2018

Around eight out of ten of the world's malnourished children live in middle-income countries (MICs). This report assesses the silent everyday emergency of malnutrition in 89 relatively non-fragile MICs, which is damaging the survival and potential of populations in these countries, and therefore limiting what they can achieve. Based on available data, the report also reviews national policies for nutrition, and inequities in nutritional outcomes in these countries. It then identifies key...

From Investment to Impact: Meeting DFID's 50 million commitment on nutrition

11 October 2017

In 2015, the UK government committed to improving the nutrition for 50 million individuals by 2020. Even though the 2017 general election led to a change in leadership, DFID are committed to reaching this target. So far, DFID have only been reporting the 'reach' of their nutrition-relevant programmes, as opposed to nutrition improvement resulting from these. However, in 2016 they developed a nuanced methodology based on 'intensity of nutrition reach' (high, medium, or low) as a proxy measure...

Improving Nutrition and Health for Pregnant and Lactating Women

30 November 2016

Nutrition for women in pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and over the first two years of the child’s life is of utmost importance for the survival, health and development of mothers and their children . In pregnancy, requirements of energy, protein, and essential micronutrients are increased not only to maintain the mother’s own health, but to also support optimal physical and brain development in the foetus and thereafter in the young child. Thus there is...


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