Global Nutrition Report 2017: key takeaways

The 2017 Global Nutrition Report launched last week, providing key information to those working towards SDG2.

One in three people are malnourished and countries lose between 1 – 16% of their GDP as a result. The Global Nutrition Report is the only comprehensive annual stock-take of the state of the world’s nutrition and the focus of this year’s report is how improving nutrition can have a powerful multiplier effect across the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, the report emphasises how difficult it will be to achieve any of the SDGs without addressing nutrition.

You can read the full report here. Below are some bite-size takeaways, however the report asks that if we are to take away only one message, it should be:

“Ending malnutrition in all its forms will catalyse improved outcomes across the SDGs. Whoever you are and whatever you work on – you can make a difference to achieving the SDGs and you can help end malnutrition.”

Key Takeaways

Infographic: The world faces a grave situation

The world faces a grave nutrition situation – but the SDGs present an unprecedented opportunity to change that.

This year’s Global Nutrition Report shows what a large-scale and universal problem nutrition is – despite years of significant progress, we still have much to tackle. Why? Analysis shows that 88% of countries for which we have data face a serious burden of either two or three forms of malnutrition (childhood stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age and/or overweight in adult women), and progress to eradicate this is slow, or moving backwards.

The SDGs, adopted by 193 countries in 2015, offer a tremendous window of opportunity to reverse or stop these trends.

Improving nutrition will be a catalyst for achieving all the other SDGs

Infographic: catalyst

The report shows that there are five core areas that run through the SDGs to which nutrition can contribute, and in turn, benefit from:

• Sustainable food production

• strong systems of infrastructure

• health systems

• equity and inclusion

• peace and stability.

Through these five areas, nutrition can have a powerful multiplier effect across the SDGs.

Tackling the underlying causes of malnutrition through the SDGs will unlock significant gains in the fight to end malnutrition.

The report highlights that it will be a challenge to achieve any SDG without addressing nutrition. Nutrition is so inextricably linked to other key development issues that the SDGs cannot work without it being addressed.

There is significant opportunity for financing a more integrated approach to improving nutrition universally.

Infographic: Integrated approach

Malnutrition has a high economic and health cost, yet not enough is spent on improving nutrition. Some countries spend over 10% of their budget on nutrition and others far less. Global spending by donors on undernutrition increased by 1% between 2014 and 2015, but fell as a proportion of official development assistance (ODA) from 0.57% in 2014 to 0.50% in 2015. Some donors fund nutrition more than others but more is needed. The report suggests that opportunities through innovative financing mechanisms and existing investment flows need to be explored.

Main message: The world simply cannot afford not to take a more integrated approach to investing in nutrition.

To leave no one behind, we must fill gaps and change the way we analyse and use data.

Infographic: Key Statistics

The Global Nutrition Report continues to call for more rigorous data collection. This year, it highlights that data gaps are hindering accountability and progress. National averages are not enough to see who is most vulnerable to malnutrition. The report calls for disaggregated data for all forms of malnutrition, in all countries as nutritional levels can vary even within households.

We must make sure commitments are concrete pledges that are acted on.

According to the report, governments must integrate a commitment to nutrition into its policies, coordination, how civil society engages and how businesses are run. Accountability mechanisms must be in place to ensure that commitments are delivered in practice.

There is an exciting opportunity to achieve global nutrition targets while catalysing other development goals through ‘double duty’ and ‘triple duty’ actions.

No country has been able to stop the rise in obesity. There is an opportunity to identify – and take – ‘double duty’ actions which tackle more than one form of malnutrition at once. For example, actions to promote and protect breastfeeding in the workplace produce benefits for both sides of the double burden of malnutrition. Likewise, ‘triple duty actions’ which tackle malnutrition and other development challenges could yield multiple benefits across the SDGs.

Watch the video: Global nutrition report: Nourishing the SDGs and ‘digesting the data’

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