Every country in the world faces problems with poor nutrition. Researchers noted that the lack of proper nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child could lead to irreversible developmental gaps. The problems of poor nutrition are often linked to the lack of food security. Food insecurity is a leading cause of the high rates of early death as well as disability among children, pregnant mothers, and older people. Ultimately, problems with inadequate nutrition are leading governments to spend more money on health care costs in the long run.
The UN Resolution
The United Nations General Assembly placed nutrition at the core of its sustainable development agenda by launching the “Decade of Action on Nutrition” resolution. The resolution recognizes the importance of improving nutrition and food security to achieve the 2030 Agenda alongside eliminating extreme poverty and climate change.
According to Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) director general Jose Graziano da Silva, “Children cannot focus on their education if they lack the nutrients that they need. Sadly, the problem with malnutrition and food insecurity affects children and is a rampant problem in many emerging countries around the world. As a result, economies are affected as malnourished children grow up to be chronically tired workers.”
This resolution aims to provide a platform for change and action for the many stakeholders around the world. Signatories of the resolution–mostly world leaders and other organizations–call for the support of international organizations, governments, private sectors, academia, and civil societies to work together to end world hunger by improving the food security and nutrition of young people. The United Nations encourage all agencies and member states to encourages collective effort by sharing information and technology to improve food security. The resolution also proposes creating policies that can be implemented at the regional levels of countries around the world.
Non-government organizations such as Action Against Hunger was impressed that many advocates have agreed to support and commit to eliminating malnutrition by 2030. However, international advocacy director Glen Tarman noted that the resolution would require an enormous amount of both financial and political commitment from all countries involved and the United Nations only has a decade to make sure everything is aligned.
Obesity as Another Rising Problem
The resolution documents the UN’s concern that more than 800 million people are chronically undernourished all over the world. The resolution also expresses concern about the rising number of individuals who are overweight. About 1.9 billion adults are overweight in the world which also showed signs of micronutrient deficiency. Just because people are obese does not mean that they get enough nutrients from food.
Director of Nutrition of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization Anna Lartey noted that the rising numbers of obese people in poor regions particularly in Africa made the UN include obesity in the 2030 resolution.
Both obesity and malnourishment are significant problems in developing countries, and the United Nations has been working hard to address the problem. The decision may pave a way to finally finding a solution to this long-standing issue.
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