Is the Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) leaving a footprint? Taking stock and looking ahead

Mahy et al.

[Extract] Thanks to the strong leadership of Brazil, among others, the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action on Nutrition (“Nutrition Decade”) was proclaimed in 2016 by the UN General Assembly. (1) The Nutrition Decade reaches its mid-term in 2020. The time has come to review the progress made so far in the six action areas of the Nutrition Decade’s Work Programme and identify areas in need of accelerated action and priority investment during the remaining period until 2025. Advocacy efforts during the first half of the Nutrition Decade on the importance of nutrition, healthy diets, and food systems for human and planetary health are showing results. The evidence of unhealthy diet and malnutrition being a key risk factor for disease and death globally is unequivocal.(2) Global attention to the critical role of sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets and improved nutrition has never been as prominently present as we are observing today. Brazil is one of the first countries to recognize agroecology and biodiversity, and incorporate sustainability issues in their innovative, holistic national food-based dietary guidelines.(3) A clear understanding of the effective interventions to be delivered by health systems has emerged. Voluntary or mandatory reformulation of processed food products is increasingly implemented by food industry stakeholders. More and more scientists break silos and work collectively across different sectors towards offering models to better predict impact of actions or inaction on nutrition, design more effective and innovative solutions to address malnutrition in all its forms and define appropriate metrics to monitor progress and ensure accountability.(4) Nations, regions, cities, and communities are collaborating in new ways in what is called this “new nutrition reality”(5) and, importantly, people demand transparency on and exert urgency over decisions impacting their diet, their health, their environment [...]

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