The fight against persistent underweight, stunting and wasting among children in developing countries is based on appropriate maternal, infant and young child feeding practices including micronutrient deficiencies prevention and control. However, wasted children are those at immediate risk of dying and will need timely detection and correct management for their survival.
More than half of all child deaths are associated with malnutrition, which weakens the body's resistance to illness. Poor diet, frequent illness, and inadequate or inattentive care of young children can lead to malnutrition.
If a woman is malnourished during pregnancy, or if her child is malnourished during the first two years of life, the child's physical and mental growth and development may be slowed. This cannot be made up when the child is older – it will affect the child for the rest of his or her life.
Children have the right to a caring, protective environment and to nutritious food and basic health care to protect them from illness and promote growth and development.
There's plenty of food. Too much of it is going to feed animals, too much of it is being converted to fuel and too much of it is being wasted.
On this site you will find comprehensive information, resources, tools and videos:
For the Whole Community
Healthy Nutrition Contains practical and easy-to-understand information about the principles of healthy nutrition.
Malnutrition Contains a simple explanation about malnutrition and an overview about the malnutrition situation in India and Maharashtra for the general public.
Nutrition in the Context of HIV/AIDS The HIV pandemic and the risk of mother to child transmission of HIV through breastfeeding pose unique challenges to promotion of breastfeeding. It is important to promote HIV Individual counselling and Testing among all pregnant and lactating women.
Early Detection and Referral of Children with Malnutrition Looks at feasible ways to timely detect and refer children with malnutrition from primary health care units and communities. It is intended to increase coverage through active case finding and referral of children with malnutrition at all contact points before the onset of life threatening complications.
Management of Child Malnutrition Looks at the severely malnourished, with an in-patient outline based on WHO standards and updates from Professor Michael Golden and an out-patient outline based mainly on the Community-based Therapeutic Care (CTC) Field Manual by the CTC Research and Development program (collaboration between Valid International and Concern Worldwide).
Every infant and child has the right to good nutrition according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Undernutrition is associated with 45% of child deaths.
Globally in 2013, 161.5 million children under 5 were estimated to be stunted, 50.8 million were estimated to have low weight-for-height, and 41.7 million were overweight or obese.
About 36% of infants 0 to 6 months old are exclusively breastfed.
Few children receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods; in many countries less than a fourth of infants 6–23 months of age meet the criteria of dietary diversity and feeding frequency that are appropriate for their age.
Over 800 000 children's lives could be saved every year among children under 5, if all children 0–23 months were optimally breastfed . Breastfeeding improves IQ, school attendance, and is associated with higher income in adult life.
Improving child development and reducing health costs through breastfeeding results in economic gains for individual families as well as at the national level.
Laying the Foundation for Combating Malnutrition in India The importance of balanced nutrition and health
An initiative of HealthPhone™, conducted under the aegis of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF, Aamir Khan and with support from Vodafone.
It is the World's Largest Programme to Battle Malnutrition amongst Mothers and Children.
The objective of this nationwide campaign against malnutrition is to address issues of status of women, the care of pregnant mothers and children under two, breastfeeding and the importance of balanced nutrition and health. The focus is on women between 13 and 35 years of age and their family members.
The four Poshan videos are hosted on a dedicated WAP page iaphealthphone.org and accessible to all Vodafone India subscribers on their mobile phones.
Vodafone India subscribers can also give a missed call on 1 800 120 8989 (toll-free) to receive a link to the WAP page via SMS.
January 28, 2016 - With a substantial development of research and findings for breastfeeding over the past three decades, we are now able to expand on the health benefits for both women and children across the globe. The two papers in this Series will describe past and current global trends of breastfeeding, its short and long-term health consequences for the mother and child, the impact of investment in breastfeeding, and the determinants of breastfeeding and the effectiveness of promotion interventions.
"Political commitment and investment in breastfeeding by governments, donors, employers and civil society is urgently needed to ensure the health of women and children and to shape a more sustainable future for all. UNICEF and the World Health Organization, in partnership with close to 20 organizations, are leading the charge to mobilize global action to raise political and financial investment to support breastfeeding. Together, we are working to remove barriers to breastfeeding and to give women the tools they need to make informed decisions to ensure their health and the health of their children for generations come." Werner Schultink, Chief of Nutrition at UNICEF
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Improving Child Feeding, Women's Nutrition and Household Sanitation May 2016 - Volume 12, Issue Supplement S1 - Pages 1–259
This special issue of Maternal and Child Nutrition posits that stunting is holding back the development of South Asian children and nations. An estimated 38 percent of South Asian children have stunted growth. Stop Stunting in South Asia documents three main drivers of child stunting in the region: 1) the poor diets of children in the five years of life; 2) the poor nutrition of women before and during pregnancy; and 3) the prevailing poor sanitation practices in households and communities. It also offers evidence that economic growth with commensurate investments in evidence-based programmes that place emphasis on the most vulnerable children and households hold the key to reducing child stunting at scale.
Enjoy and share Stop Stunting in South Asia, 20 open access articles by 60 authors from 25 different organizations and a photo exhibition commissioned by UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia and available at stopstunting.org.
This Countdown to 2015 case study indicates that the prevalence of child stunting in Afghanistan declined by roughly a third: from about 61% in 2004 to 43% in 2013.
Despite such progress, the prevalence of stunting is still high. Little information is available on maternal nutrition and nutrition of women (especially that of adolescent girls) or the proportion of newborns that are small for gestational age, both important determinants of stunting and poor linear growth in children.
The authors conclude that to reduce stunting further, Afghanistan will need to invest in comprehensive nutrition-specific interventions for women and children while addressing environmental health and other nutrition-sensitive interventions. These measures must be supplemented and additional safety nets, such as cash transfers, preferably conditioned on the uptake of evidence-based preventitive and promotive nutrition services and practices.
In the past two decades, child and maternal malnutrition has declined almost by half. Child undernutrition still imposes the greatest nutrition-related health burden at global level.
161 million children are stunted due to chronic malnutrition
99 million children are underweight
45% of child deaths are caused by child and maternal malnutrition
Iron deficiency ANAEMIA increases the risk of pregnancy complications, impaired cognitive development and death in children and mothers. Anaemia, resulting from iron deficiency, affects 50% of pregnant women in developing countries.
Malnutrition is an abnormal physiological condition caused by deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in energy, protein and/or other nutrients. Undernutrition is when the body contains lower than normal amounts of one or more nutrients i.e. deficiencies in macronutrients and/or micronutrients. The most pervasive form of malnutrition to date in the poorest countries is undernutrition.
To mark World Food Day, why not see if you can make your culinary knowledge bear fruit? If you know your oats from your oils, then pit your wits against our food game. With the timer eating away vital seconds, you'll need to guess where different world foods come from, rank countries by rates of undernourishment, and negotiate a tricky picture round. If you've got an appetite for the challenge, just click below to get started …
» Guess which three countries are the top producers of each food commodity
» Reorder countries according to their rates of undernourishment
» Work out which picture contains the answer to each question
Hundreds of millions of people around the world are starving, while half a billion are obese—and they are living side by side in the same countries and the same communities. In this short video, learn more about malnutrition from FAO and WHO experts.
Over 800 million people in the world consistently do not get enough food to eat, and go to bed hungry. The effects of chronic hunger are irreversible, contributing to almost half of all child deaths worldwide. In this short video, learn more about chronic hunger from FAO and WHO experts.
Hidden hunger, or micronutrient deficiencies, occurs when the quality of food that people eat does not meet their nutrient requirements, so they are not getting the essential vitamins and minerals they need for their growth and development. It affects two billion people across the globe. In this short video, learn more about hidden hunger from FAO and WHO experts.
Food systems bring food from the farm to your plate. Fixing food systems is the key to ending malnutrition.
The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) is an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The two main outcome documents of the conference are the Rome Declaration on Nutrition: a political commitment document, and the Framework for Action: a technical guide for implementation.
The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO) presented its final report to the WHO Director-General today, culminating a two-year process to address the alarming levels of childhood obesity and overweight globally.
The ECHO report proposes a range of recommendations for governments aimed at reversing the rising trend of children aged under 5 years becoming overweight and obese. At least 41 million children in this age group are obese or overweight, with the greatest rise in the number of children being obese or overweight coming from low- and middle-income countries.
Overweight prevalence among children aged under 5 years has risen between 1990 and 2014, from 4.8% to 6.1%, with numbers of affected children rising from 31 million to 41 million during that time. The number of overweight children in lower middle-income countries has more than doubled over that period, from 7.5 million to 15.5 million.
In 2014, almost half (48%) of all overweight and obese children aged under 5 lived in Asia and one-quarter (25%) in Africa. The number of overweight children aged under 5 in Africa has nearly doubled since 1990 (5.4 million to 10.3 million).
The ECHO Report has 6 main recommendations for governments
Promote intake of healthy foods
Promote physical activity
Preconception and pregnancy care
Early childhood diet and physical activity
Health, nutrition and physical activity for school-age children
The Global Nutrition Report is the first comprehensive summary and scorecard on both global and country level progress on all forms of nutrition for 193 countries. The 2015 edition builds and reflects on new opportunities, actions, progress, accountability, and data for nutrition, with the aim to build greater commitment to improved nutrition in all countries.
New findings and recommendations include:
The critical relationship between climate change and nutrition
Focus on the roles of business and how it can play a pivotal role
Fresh data covering all forms of malnutrition – from under nutrition in young children to nutrition-related noncommunicable diseases in adults, and from stunting to obesity
The infographic uses data from the Global Nutrition Report 2015 to present a snapshot of the scale of malnutrition across the globe. It tracks country progress towards two nutrition-related World Health Assembly targets for 2025, stunting in children under-5, and obesity among adults aged 18+.
Stunting is defined as the percentage of children 0–59 months who are below minus two (moderate and severe) standard deviations from median height-for-age of the WHO Child Growth Standards
Adult obesity is defined as the percentage of defined population (adults 18+) with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher.
The 2015 Global Nutrition Report contains a lot of numbers. We have been asking panellists at various launch events which they find most interesting and why. Here is our top 50 list of statistics, organised around key points. They are intended to be useful for your briefing notes, speeches, power points, press releases, tweets, blogs, opinion pieces and conversations. Please use them — numbers are just numbers until you bring them to life to contribute to a movement for change.
Global Nutrition Targets 2025: Infographics Highlighting the key messages and recommended actions
First Foods For Life
A Global Meeting, to accelerate progress on complementary feeding in Young Children Mumbai, 17-19 November, 2015
This global meet was very timely and extremely important in the context where levels of stunting in younger children are highest in many of the developing countries. It brought together minds in the field of Child Nutrition and Public Policy to take the next big steps to realising our dream of giving each child the best shot at a fulfilling life.
From 2010-2014, Alive & Thrive implemented large scale infant and young child feeding programs in three countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam. Results demonstrate that rapid increases in feeding behaviors -- known to improve child nutritional status and development -- are possible. We are pleased to share our new, interactive website that details our results, comprehensive framework, and learnings from these three countries. We hope this online site will serve as a resource for others to adapt - in different contexts and countries - our proven four-component framework for delivering behavior change at scale. For more information, please visit aliveandthrive.org/results/.
The goal of the presentation Malnutrition: Meeting the Global Challenge is to strengthen support for nutrition as a priority health and development issue on global and national policy agendas. This process includes tapping into existing networks and ongoing initiatives to add value to local policy advocacy activities, fostering policy dialogue, and supporting program and policy improvements to strengthen nutrition programs. The presentation is designed to provide an overview of the current global nutrition situation, the state of progress in achieving the World Health Assembly’s nutrition targets, and the challenges ahead.
Nutrition is an essential component of the work of all health and community workers, including those involved in humanitarian assistance, and yet it is often neglected in their basic training. Drawn from the experiences of an international editor team with extensive field experience, Nutrition for Developing Countries brings together the essential basics of nutrition in an easily accessible form which is accurate, up-to-date and practical, and suitable for a wide range of readers at different levels. The book covers the whole life cycle, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, complementary feeding, older children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable women and children.
The fully revised and updated edition addresses both the long standing problems of undernutrition and malnutrition, and the growing epidemic of overnutrition and obesity, which are responsible for the rapid increase in non-communicable diseases of later life. Generously illustrated, Nutrition for Developing Countries explains in clear simple language, and practical detail, how nutrition workers can help families with nutrition problems, including many ideas for exercises for training nutrition workers.
Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children is a group of mothers and other interested people, working as volunteers, to gather and co-ordinate support for the infants (newborns to age two years old and beyond) fleeing war and thus caught in the refugee crisis. As a group we support the WHO recommendations on Infant Feeding whereby milk, preferably mother’s milk, should be the only food given for the first six months and milk feed should be offered freely for a minimum of two years.
• support mother & infant
• educate, train & support volunteers
• educate public
• support IYCF-E aligned groups to fundraise
Since 2011, the WHO e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA) has provided more than 1 million users with evidence-informed guidance and related information for nutrition interventions. Though the reach of eLENA continues to expand through a steady increase in the number of website users, there is a recognized need for access to eLENA content in settings without regular or reliable internet access.
In order to address this unmet need, the Nutrition Policy and Scientific Advice Unit of the WHO Department of Nutrition for Health and Development has developed an eLENA mobile phone application, eLENAmobile, which delivers much of the content of eLENA to smartphones and can be accessed anywhere – no internet connection required.
Download eLENAmobile for iPhones and Android smartphones now, at Google Play or the Apple App Store.
A Manual for Community Nutrition Promoters FAO European Union Food Facility Project
This Manual was produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Health. National master trainers, provincial and district level staff from the three ministries were actively involved in nutrition training activities and facilitated the testing of nutrition recommendations and recipes in communities.
The nutrition messages and recipes in this Manual were developed, field-tested and refined in nine provinces (Kampong Speu, Takeo, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Otdar Meanchey) by teams of officers from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Health and FAO.
Sight and Life provides a range of educational materials. This includes books, brochures, and documentaries to support the information needs of health workers, scientists, representatives of governmental/non-governmental agencies, and the media relating to key malnutrition issues.
Publications: books, articles, and technical briefs, Peer-reviewed publications, Infographics: making nutrition issues digestible, Videos & Podcasts: bringing messages home
A new report published by Save the Children in March 2015 focuses on Policy and Programming in SUN Countries for adolescent nutrition.
The aim of the report is to share experiences from different countries about types of approaches used and challenges faced when addressing adolescent nutrition. This knowledge will help to inform other countries so that they can strengthen their own relevant policies and programmes for adolescent nutrition.
Adolescence is a time of rapid physical growth, second only to the first 1000 day window of opportunity from conception through to two years of age. Therefore, optimal nutrition during this period of life is crucial and targeting adolescent girls in particular, is vital in order to break the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition.
Thirty years since the first report appeared documenting transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) through breastfeeding, breastfeeding by HIV-Positive mothers has never been as safe as it is now in 2015. So long as several easily achievable conditions are fulfilled, the risk of transmission of the virus through mother’s milk can be reduced to almost zero (0-1%).
In summary, WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant's life. Thereafter, local, nutritious foods should be introduced, while breastfeeding continues for up to two years or beyond. Followup formula is therefore unnecessary. In addition, follow-up formula is not a suitable substitute for breast milk, due to its content.
Every day, tens of millions of children go to school—or to bed—hungry. Not only does it take a toll on their studies, hindering their chances of a better life, it also stunts their growth and makes them more susceptible to illness and disease.
Scroll and click around the map to see where in the world children are underweight, which is defined as two standard deviations below the median of the NCHS/CDC/WHO International Reference Population. It's a pretty good indicator of kids who are chronically hungry.
This guideline provides global, evidence-informed recommendations on a number of specific issues related to the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children, including in the context of HIV.
The guideline is intended for a wide audience, including policy-makers, their expert advisers, and technical and programme staff in organizations involved in the design, implementation and scaling-up of nutrition actions for public health. The guideline will form the basis for a revised manual on the management of severe malnutrition for physicians and other senior health workers, and a training course on the management of severe malnutrition.
Download: Full document pdf, 2.18Mb
Alive & Thrive Resources: The Power of Nutrition advocacy tools help illustrate the importance of early childhood nutrition in strengthening the future for children, communities and nations.
Nutrition is one of the most cost-effective investments a country can make to advance health and development. That's why developing countries are leading efforts to make infant and young child nutrition a top priority in national policies and programs. These leaders are part of a global movement to mobilize resources, increase investments and scale up efforts to improve nutrition. As this movement continues to grow, together we can unlock the power of nutrition.
Use these tools in your advocacy efforts to improve childhood nutrition and infant and young child feeding.
This video illustrates the importance of early childhood nutrition in strengthening the future for children, communities and nations. Learn more
The infographic can
serve as a leave-behind material at meetings or conferences, a poster for office or clinic walls, and an informational piece for press kits, mailings and more.
The resource guide provides additional key messaging around the global movement to scale up nutrition, the action steps for policymakers, the power of nutrition and best feeding practices.
Visitors are invited but not required to help this tool to continue to be available by donating any amount they wish to Wellstart International, a US based 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that is compliant with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
Users are also requested to send your name, professional school that you are affiliated with and an e-mail address to email@example.com so that we may send you updates and alerts about relevant new materials and references.
This course, from the University of Southampton, is designed to cater individualised learning for health professionals who have any responsibility for child care, especially paediatricians, nurses, medical students and nursing students. The course is designed to support interactive and self-directed learning.
Based on the WHO's guidelines, the course provides standardised and interactive learning in 3 modules. In the first module you will learn the definition and classification of malnutrition, the visible and invisible changes caused by malnutrition and why malnourished children need different care from other children. In the second module you will learn how to assess and screen children for malnutrition, and in the third module how to manage children with malnutrition. These will include the ten steps for successful management, how community- and facility-based approaches can be integrated to widen coverage and why common conditions such as gastroenteritis, pneumonia and malaria have to be treated differently when there is coexisting malnutrition.