10–13 December 2018, IAEA Headquarters, Vienna (Austria)

The double burden of malnutrition (DBM) is characterized by the coexistence of undernutrition (stunting, wasting, vitamin and mineral deficiency) along with overweight, obesity or diet-related NCDs, within individuals, households and populations, and across the life-course. The developmental and economic impacts of this double burden are serious and lasting, with low and middle income countries bearing the greatest burden. The DBM is united by shared drivers and solutions and therefore calls for integrated nutrition action. 

The purpose of the symposium is to strengthen the understanding of how to address the DBM by sharing recent research findings and country experience with implementing relevant policies and programme interventions.

Objectives

The objective is to provide a forum for estimating and further exploring the magnitude of the DBM, sharing evidence on biological pathways through which early nutrition influences overweight, obesity and NCDs, identifying knowledge gaps and research needs, reviewing efforts that have been undertaken so far to create nutrition enabling environments and discussing considerations for the design and contextualisation of relevant double-duty actions and policies. Finally, the symposium will identify considerations for policies and action plans to support Member States in achieving their defined nutrition commitments within the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and SDG2.

Topics

The symposium will cover five thematic areas:

  • Epidemiology - Prevalence, causes and consequences of the DBM.
  • Biology - Biological mechanisms contributing to the DBM.
  • Assessment - How to assess the DBM in individuals and populations.
  • Interventions - From biology to interventions targeting the DBM.
  • Policy implications - From biology to policies addressing the DBM.

Key Deadlines

  • 27 May 2018: Online submission of abstracts (INDICO).
    Submission of participation and abstract forms and grant applications (forms A, B, C).
  • 30 June 2018: Notification of acceptance of abstracts.

Abstracts must be submitted in electronic format through the online submission system INDICO available at the symposium web page.

More information on the symposium website
Detailed information on administrative procedures including participation and registration, abstract submission is provided on the symposium web site: 
https://www.iaea.org/events/understanding-the-double-burden-of-malnutrition-symposium-2018

There is no registration fee to attend this symposium.

Sight and Life Magazine on the Double Burden of Malnutrition now available

Currently, 38 million children are obese worldwide, compared with 151 million children stunted, and childhood obesity is increasing in every region of the world. Increasingly these conditions occur at the same time in the same country, household, and even in the same individual. The latest edition of the Sight and Life magazine focuses on Double Burden of Malnutrition and the challenges and opportunities the global community now faces in addressing all forms of malnutrition. Each article in this issue is inspiring and thought-provoking and we very much hope that it will stimulate new ways of thinking that pave the way for meaningful and lasting change.

To download and share the full report visit the Sight and Life website

Deadline: 28 February 2019

FAO and the Government of Switzerland are calling on individuals, private companies or institutions to submit nominations for the International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture by 28 February 2019.

There are two categories:

  • Award for Digitalization and Innovation for Sustainable Food Systems (USD 40 000) -Innovations that impact more than one level of the supply chain and strengthen the link between farmers and consumers.
  • Award for Innovations that empower youth in agriculture and food systems (USD 20 000) - Innovations that empower youth (under 35) in agriculture and food systems.

Download the nomination form, terms and conditions and explain how your innovation is contributing to the global effort to reach Zero Hunger, and why not add its support to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.

For further information, please write to: Innovation-Award@fao.org

 

Deadline: 13 December 2018

The Sustainable Food Systems Programme of the UN One Planet Network has launched the online consultation Towards a common understanding of Sustainable Food Systems. This work is in support of the development of a publication on Key Approaches, Concepts and Terms in Relation to Sustainable Food Systems to help reach a common understanding of the challenges faced in the transformation of our food systems. Through this consultation we invite you to share your comments on the V 1.0 draft of the publication to help ensure that key concepts and principal components of a sustainable food systems approach are adequately reflected.

The discussion is also available in French and Spanish on the FSN Forum website and we welcome comments in any of the six UN-languages.

To take part, share your comments on the  FSN Forum website or send them to fsn-moderator@fao.org by 13 December 2018.

We look forward to receiving your inputs and please do not hesitate to extend this invitation to your friends and colleagues.

3 December 2018, 9.00-10.30 CET at IFAD HQ – Oval Room and via webcast

The event will present the Nutrition-sensitive value chains: A guide for project design, a practical guide that describes a step-by-step approach for designing NSVC projects, drawing on the latest research and field-tested approaches in Indonesia and Nigeria. The event will also highlight the collection of materials IFAD has produced to support development of NSVC projects, including a technical Research Paper describing the underlying framework and practitioner-friendly summaries of the results of applying the approach in Indonesia and Nigeria.  

The guide's authors, Isabel de la Peña (Nutrition and Value Chain Specialist, IFAD-ECG Consultant) and James Garrett (Senior Research Fellow, Bioversity International) will present key features of the guide and the approach. IFAD colleagues who participated in the process of developing the guide will also describe their experiences. 

The full set of publications can be accessed through the links below: 

o   Nutrition-sensitive value chains: A guide for project design Volume I and Volume II

o   IFAD Research paper: Nutrition-sensitive value chain from a smallholder perspective: A framework for project design

o   Nutrition-sensitive value chains – Country Brochures for Nigeria and Indonesia

 

 

Open until 7 January 2019.

During its 45th Plenary Session (15-20 October 2018), the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested its High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to produce a short report (around 20 pages, approximately 20 000 words) entitled “Food Security and Nutrition: Building a global narrative towards 2030” to be presented by the first semester 2020.

 To implement this CFS request, the HLPE is launching an open e-consultation to seek views and comments on the following scope and building blocks of the report, outlined below. To participate, please visit the dedicated HLPE e-consultation website: http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/cfs-hlpe/discussions/global_FSN_narrative

 Comments can be submitted online, by mail to FSN-moderator@fao.org, or directly to the HLPE Secretariat at cfs-hlpe@fao.org.

The e-Consultation will be running until 7 January 2019

For more information visit the HLPE website

28-30 November 2018 - Bangkok, Thailand

Improving food security and nutrition is critical to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the world is not on track to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030. How can we accelerate progress in transforming our agri-food systems to meet the needs of the hungry and malnourished?

To answer this question, IFPRI and the FAO are organizing a global event on Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition on 28-30 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event will share evidence and lessons learned from around the world on food system transformation for reducing hunger and malnutrition; explore innovations to build further momentum and accelerate progress; and identify opportunities for scaling up successful actions. For more information, please go to the conference website.

On 28 November, UNSCN and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will host the side event Assessing Food Systems For Better Nutrition: Towards The Preparation Of The CFS Voluntary Guidelines see flyer. By way of background, the CFS has decided to develop Voluntary Guidelines (VGs) on Food Systems and Nutrition. The aim of these VGs is to offer recommendations to shape sustainable food systems for healthy diets, to counter policy fragmentation and to consider different typologies of food systems. The objective of this side event is to collect initial ideas to help shape the VGs. Panelists will provide in-depth views about food systems and assess their impact on nutrition.

Also noteworthy during this conference, the Global Nutrition Report team will also host the side-event Shining a Light on Transformative Action: Regional Perspectives to launch its annual publication. The 2018 report reviews existing processes, highlights progress in combating malnutrition, identifies challenges and proposes ways to solve them. Through this, the report guides action, builds accountability and sparks increased commitment to furthering the progress that can reduce malnutrition much faster. Shining a Light on Transformative Action: Regional Perspectives will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the critical steps needed to speed up progress on tackling malnutrition in all its forms. It will seek to engage regional perspectives on action on nutrition and highlight what should be done to facilitate further change. All welcome with free registration in advance.

Country progress in creating enabling policy environments for promoting healthy diets and nutrition

The Global Nutrition Policy Review 2016–2017 is the report of the second comprehensive analysis of nutrition-related policy environment, coordination mechanisms, available capacities and actions being taken in the WHO Member States. 176 Member States (91%) and one area responded to the survey carried out between July 2016 and December 2017 on topic areas related to infant and young child nutrition, school health and nutrition, promotion of healthy diets, vitamin and mineral nutrition, prevention and management of acute malnutrition and nutrition, and infectious disease. The findings presented in this report will help in tracking progress towards achieving the commitments made at the 2014 Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and will also serve as a baseline for monitoring country actions in achieving the commitments of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–2025).

Great progress has been made in terms of developing and implementing national policies since the Global Nutrition Policy Review 2009–2010 was conducted, with national policies increasingly having specific nutrition goals and targets which are in line with the global nutrition and diet-related NCD targets 2025 adopted by the World Health Assembly and subsequently by the ICN2 and the UN General Assembly as part of the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition. Countries are also implementing relevant actions, in particular to address stunting as well as overweight and obesity. More countries are also taking actions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. In contrast, there has been a notable weakening in the area of school health and nutrition.

Globally, changes are happening in the nutrition-related policy environment with an increasing number of countries taking regulatory action to improve food environment to promote healthy diets and nutrition. These include the implementation of nutrition labelling, fiscal policies, trans fat bans, reformulation of food products, and restricting marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children.

Nutrition governance has also been strengthened since the last Global Nutrition Policy Review was conducted in 2009-2010, with a higher proportion of countries reporting that they have established nutrition coordination mechanisms in high government offices, such as in the office of the President or Prime Minister, reflecting the growing recognition of the importance of the nutrition agenda. However, current progress and trends in achieving the global nutrition and diet-related NCD targets 2025 are not sufficient, and these global targets are unlikely to be achieved unless accelerated actions are implemented worldwide.

Access the publication here.

The 2018 Global Nutrition Report shares insights into the current state of global nutrition, highlighting the unacceptably high burden of malnutrition in the world. It identifies areas where progress has been made in recent years but argues that it is too slow and too inconsistent.

The report puts forward five critical steps that are needed to speed up progress to end malnutrition in all its forms and argues that, if we act now, it is not too late to achieve this goal. In fact, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do so. The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide global and national impetus to address malnutrition and expedite progress.

2018 Global Nutrition Report Italy launch

20 February 2019, 10:00am (CET)
WFP HQ, Rome (Italy)

The event will present and discuss the key findings of the 2018 Global Nutrition Report, highlighting the many connections across the Sustainable Development Goals for nutrition. The session will be an engaging occasion for sharing insights and commitments regarding nutrition action at all levels.

Please bring with you a smartphone, tablet or laptop to participate in this interactive event.

Speakers include:

  • Senior Representative of the Government of Kenya, SUN Member.
  • Jessica Fanzo, PhD, Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University
  • Anna Lartey, Director, Nutrition, FAO
  • Lauren Landis, Director, Nutrition, WFP
  • Margarita Astralaga, Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division, IFAD

Register for this event.

Open until 10 January 2019

UNSCN Nutrition is the flagship, peer-reviewed publication of the UNSCN, previously entitled UNSCN News. The 2019 edition will focus on food environments to enable healthy and nutritious diets.

On a daily basis, people acquire and consume food through their food environments. It is the link between diets and the wider food system. It considers the ability to access nutritious food affordably and conveniently. It is also shaped by external factors, such as the price and availability of food, as well as the taste, marketing and regulations that impact what is being promoted.

There are various ways in which the food environment has been defined. The 2017 HLPE defines it as “the physical, economic, political and socio-cultural context in which consumers engage with the food system to make their decisions about acquiring, preparing and consuming food”(HLPE 2017). Others have defined food environments more in terms of the foods themselves, as “all the foods which are available and accessible to people in the settings in which they go about their daily lives. That is, the range of foods in supermarkets, small retail outlets, wet markets, street food stalls, coffee shops, tea houses, school canteens, restaurants and all the other venues where people procure and eat food” (FAO), encompassing the aspects of availability, affordability, convenience, and desirability (Herforth and Ahmed 2015).

From local markets to megastores, food environments are changing rapidly as people move from rural to urban areas and as dietary preferences evolve. This evolution has also led to a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity and deaths from non-communicable diseases, especially in high income countries. Food labelling, product positioning, advertising, promotions and marketing are particularly influential, especially when children are the target audience. When designed effectively, policies and fiscal measures can positively influence what is available for consumers and lead to healthier choices. Efforts aimed at introducing greater nutrition into the supply chain, improving post-harvest practices and increasing the nutrient content of foods through, for example, food fortification, are also essential.

This Call for Contributions welcomes academically rigorous examples of the positive and negative effects of our current food environments on nutrition. Programs that increase consumer demand for healthy food such as consumer behaviour change communications, social marketing and nutrition education are also welcome.

KEY QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION

  • What have national or local governments done to improve food environments?
  • What has been the impact of price interventions on consumption?
  • How can inherently nutritious foods be made more convenient for consumers? What is the role of private sector?
  • What workforce development and training opportunities are needed to build the necessary skills and leadership capacity to improve food environments?
  • What are some specific observations around how food environments are changing in LMICs?
  • What are some examples of public procurement affecting food environments?

We welcome contributions on the following categories:

Feature articles: 3,000 words articles related to the general topic of the publication. The articles will be submitted to peer review and can include conceptual contributions or practical examples of policies and programmes.

Speaker's Corner: 1,500 words articles with the authors’ views regarding a hot topic in nutrition policy or programme. The section sometimes features a counterpoint by another author holding an opposite opinion to stimulate debate on important issues. Your contribution could also serve to share your food environment story and how that has impacted the health and well-being of your family and community.

Publications: recent publications of relevance to nutrition, including manuals, tools and guidelines that are usually not found in regular bookstores. Max. 200 words per submission.

Please send your contributions electronically to the UNSCN News to SCN@fao.org with the title “UNSCN Nutrition Proposal”. For editorial information, please refer to the UNSCN News Guidelines for Contributors available here.

Photo credit: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Deadline: 10 January 2019