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close this book4th Report on the World Nutrition Situation - Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle (ACC/SCN, 2000, 138 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE ON COORDINATION/SUB-COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION - (ACC/SCN) THE UN SYSTEM’S FORUM FOR NUTRITION
View the documentINTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
View the documentFOREWORD
View the documentHIGHLIGHTS
View the documentCONTRIBUTORS
View the documentACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
View the documentLIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
View the documentPREFACE
close this folderCHAPTER 1: NUTRITION THROUGHOUT THE LIFE CYCLE
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View the document1.1 Intrauterine Growth Retardation (IUGR)
View the document1.2 Undernutrition in Preschool Children
View the document1.3 The Growth of School-Age Children
View the document1.4 Adolescent Nutrition
View the document1.5 Adult Malnutrition
View the document1.6 Nutrition of Older People in Developing Countries
View the documentSummary
close this folderCHAPTER 2: MICRONUTRIENT UPDATE
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View the document2.1 Iron Deficiency Update
View the document2.2 Iodine Deficiency Disorders Update
View the document2.3 Vitamin A Deficiency Update
View the document2.4 Multiple Micronutrient Deficiencies
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close this folderCHAPTER 3: BREASTFEEDING AND COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING
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View the document3.1 Evidence Linking Breastfeeding to Improved Outcomes
View the document3.2 Evidence Linking Complementary Feeding to Improved Outcomes
View the document3.3 Conceptualizing Infant Feeding Behaviours
View the document3.4 HIV and Infant Feeding
View the document3.5 Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding Patterns and Trends
View the document3.6 Role of National and International Initiatives in Support of Optimal Infant Feeding
View the document3.7 Looking Forward: The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding
close this folderCHAPTER 4: NUTRITION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 The Relevance of Nutrition for Development
View the document4.2 The Implications of Some Global Phenomena for Nutrition
View the document4.3 The Ascent of Human Rights in Development
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close this folderCHAPTER 5: NUTRITION OF REFUGEES AND DISPLACED POPULATIONS
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View the document5.1 Trends in Numbers of People Affected
View the document5.2 Overview of the Humanitarian Response to Emergencies
View the document5.3 Trends in Assessment Methodologies
View the document5.4 Trends in Food and Nutrition Response Programmes
View the document5.5 Trends in Information Sharing and Learning
View the document5.6 Case Studies: The Scale and Severity of Nutritional Problems among Refugees and Displaced Populations
View the document5.7 Future Directions
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close this folderAPPENDICES
View the documentAppendix 1: Conceptualizing Nutrition Problems in Society
View the documentAppendix 2: Countries in the UN Regions and Sub-Regions
View the documentAppendix 3: Methods to Estimate Trends in Undernutrition Prevalence: A Review
View the documentAppendix 4: Statistical Notes for Sections 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3
View the documentAppendix 5: Latest National Prevalence of Stunting and Underweight in Preschool Children
View the documentAppendix 6: Explaining Trends in Child Underweight in the Developing World
View the documentAppendix 7: Data Employed for Analysis of Child Underweight Rates in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentAppendix 8: Prevalence and Numbers of Overweight Preschool Children in 1995
View the documentAppendix 9: Countries Classified by WHO Regions
View the documentAppendix 10: National Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes
View the documentAppendix 11: Summary of Five Studies of the Social Impacts of the Indonesian Crisis
View the documentAppendix 12: Some Food and Nutrition Information and Data Resources on the Internet
View the documentREFERENCES
View the documentBACK COVER

(introduction...)

Few people - whether or not they are nutrition professionals - would dispute the fact that malnutrition constrains people’s ability to fulfill their potential. Hungry and undernourished people have less energy to undertake work, are less able to attend school, and once in school are less able to concentrate and learn. Diet-related chronic diseases take highly experienced individuals out of the work force and take resources away from primary health services. That improved nutritional status will lead to an improved ability to secure rewarding and sustainable livelihoods is a common sense proposition.

How important is malnutrition to economic growth? Researchers have derived conservative estimates of the forgone gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of iron deficiency alone in childhood and iron, iodine, and protein-energy malnutrition in adults.1 For Pakistan the annual losses are over 5% of GDP. For Bangladesh, the cost of iron deficiency in children alone is nearly 2% of GDP. Nutrition and food security also promote economic growth by reducing the potential for conflict.2 Chapter 5 shows that the resources required for relief activities are large and growing. Understandably these activities retain the first call on resources - resources that could otherwise be allocated to longer-term development activities. The designers and implementers of relief programmes are very aware of the importance of building development into relief activities. In general, the need for future relief flows can be reduced by improving nutrition today. Reduced relief flows will increase the availability of funds for longer-term development. Improvements in nutrition can thus serve as a crucial spur to overall economic growth.

If the contributions of nutrition to economic development are underrated, so too are the reverse contributions - both positive and negative. Economic and demographic events such as globalization, HIV/AIDS, and urbanization have large and far-reaching impacts on human development - such as the capability to be well nourished and healthy, to undertake healthy reproduction, and to be educated and knowledgeable - and they must be taken into account in developing nutrition strategies.

The emergence of human development as a guiding principle for overall development reflects a growing dissatisfaction with an exclusive reliance on economic growth as a means to development. The focus on human capabilities has opened the door for more normative arguments, including a human rights - based approach to development. In his launch of the United Nations reform, Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that all major UN activities should be undertaken through a human rights perspective. Many UN agencies, particularly the UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, and UNICEF, began operationalizing a “human rights approach” to development. The debate about whether or not the UN should base its work on human rights was over. The challenge now is how to develop human rights - based strategies.

This chapter discusses these themes in more detail. First, it describes some recent developments that highlight the contributions of improved nutrition to the overall development process. Recent studies, for example, confirm the strong relationship between infant nutrition, cognition, and school enrollment - linkages exploited by the early childhood initiatives of the past five years. The chapter then considers some of the policy implications of new research on the links between foetal undernutrition and diet-related chronic diseases in adults. This section of the chapter closes with a discussion of the resurgence of interest in participatory development approaches and the contributions that community-based nutrition initiatives might make to overall development.

Second, the chapter describes some major socioeconomic and demographic events together with their implications for nutrition policy and programming. The chapter considers the implications of the freer movement of financial resources, food, and information (three aspects of globalization) for food and nutrition policy. The chapter then discusses the implications of rapid urbanization and of HIV/AIDS for food and nutrition policy. Finally, the chapter describes the emergence of the human rights perspective. The ascent of the human rights agenda in an era of globalization is more than a coincidence. Human rights principles will play a crucial role in the type of globalization that emerges over the next ten years.