THP perspective: Malnutrition is at the central of a nexus of interrelated issues, all of which must be solved together. Gender discrimination is a primary root cause of malnutrition, particularly in the key “1,000 Day” window from a woman’s pregnancy through her child’s second birthday.
THP supports including all the World Health Assembly Targets on nutrition in the Post-2015 agenda (Nutrition Indicators for Post-2015 Final Draft 1-26-15).
The Copenhagen Consensus was first to highlight nutrition as one of the highest-leverage investments in the world. They focus on three key interventions:
- Micronutrient supplementation
- Micronutrient fortification (ie, mixing it into grains, etc)
- Community nutrition promotion
The Lancet Series (see below) goes into detail on the evidence on proven interventions — some of which are nutrition specific, and others a “nutrition sensitive” – meaning they intervene on other sectors towards a nutritional outcome
Nutrition-specific interventions for women of reproductive age or during pregnancy:
- Iron or iron and folic acid supplementation
- Maternal multiple micronutrient supplementation
- Maternal calcium supplementation
- Maternal iodine supplementation or fortification
- Addressing maternal wasting and food insecurity with balanced energy and protein supplementation
Nutrition-specific interventions for neonates
- Delayed cord clamping
- Neonatal vitamin K administration
- Neonatal vitamin A
- Nutritional agriculture and food security
- Social safety nets
- Early child development
- Maternal mental health
- Women’s empowerment
- Child protection
- Water, sanitation, and hygiene
- Reliable access to health and family planning services
- Poor nutrition during the 1,000 day window causes irreparable harm.
- Malnutrition costs the world $x billion in health care costs and lost productivity.
- A woman’s nutrition during adolescence and pregnancy is the largest factor in child stunting.
Global campaigns and initiatives:
- The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) was a high-level intergovernmental meeting that focused global attention on addressing malnutrition in all its forms.
- SUN: Scaling Up Nutrition “is a unique Movement founded on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition. It unites people—from governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers—in a collective effort to improve nutrition.” All THP program countries except India and Mexico are SUN countries, and THP regularly participates in SUN meetings through its Civil Society Task Force.
- 1,000 Days Partnership: “Our mission is to promote targeted action and investment to improve nutrition for mothers and young children during the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy to age 2, when better nutrition can have a lifelong impact on a child’s future and help break the cycle of poverty.”
- Alive and Thrive: “is a 6-year initiative (2009-2014) to improve infant and young child nutrition by increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding and improving complementary feeding practices. A&T aims to reach more than 16 million children under 2 years old in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam.”
- Human Rights Commission – Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
- UNDP is providing key staff to support SUN.
- World Bank
- World Health Organization (WHO) has set stunting targets at its annual World Health Assembly.
- Transform Nutrition: a research consoritum including IFPRI, IDS, Save the Children, DFID, ICDDR-B, the Public Health Foundation of India and the University of Nairobi.
Key reports and data sources:
- After decades of neglect, one turning point was the 2006 World Bank Report “Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development – A Strategy for Large-scale Action.”
- June 2013: The Lancet Series on Mother and Child Nutrition. You will need to create a free login at thelancet.com to read the articles.
- Women’s Empowerment and Nutrition – an Evidence Review
Key blogs and newsfeeds:
- Benefits and Costs of the Food and Nutrition Targets for the Post-2015 Development Agenda
- ICN2: Can the world get its act together on nutrition?
- Care for Child Development: Improving the care of young children (UNICEF and WHO)
- The Importance of Multi-sectoral and Integrated Nutrition Strategies