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Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-79

Advocating essential nutrition actions for reduction in malnutrition: World health organization


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission10-Sep-2019
Date of Acceptance22-Oct-2019
Date of Web Publication02-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth - Deemed to be University, Tiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JIHS.JIHS_39_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Advocating essential nutrition actions for reduction in malnutrition: World health organization. J Integr Health Sci 2019;7:78-9

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Advocating essential nutrition actions for reduction in malnutrition: World health organization. J Integr Health Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Feb 29];7:78-9. Available from: http://www.jihs.in/text.asp?2019/7/2/78/274534



Dear Sir,

The spectrum of malnutrition is a global public health concern affecting 33% of the global population, and it exists in various forms such as undernourishment, stunting, wasting, overweight, and obesity.[1] The various forms of malnutrition have been associated with morbidity, mortality, impairment in the quality of life, and a significant rise in the number of disability-adjusted life years.[1] In fact, almost 45% of the under-five mortality has been attributed to malnutrition and these are alarming estimates.[1] A wide range of sociodemographic and financial predisposing factors have been identified, which together have accounted for the problem of malnutrition.[2],[3]

Acknowledging the role of optimal nutrition in sustaining a healthy life and well-being, a set of global targets has been specified, including 30%, 40%, and 50% reduction in the number of low birth weight, number of stunted under-five children, and anemia among women of reproductive age group, respectively.[1] In addition, targets pertaining to increasing the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding up to 50% and no further rise in the prevalence of childhood overweight have been set to be accomplished by 2025.[1],[4],[5] On the similar lines, specific diet-related targets have also been defined for the prevention and control of lifestyle diseases.[4] It will not be wrong to say that some progress has been made in terms of reduction in the prevalence of stunting, but there is a long way to go.[3],[4]

The findings of a recently released report have indicated that by ensuring the desired investment in nutrition, in excess of 3.6 million lives can be saved by 2025.[1],[4] A set of essential nutrition actions has been proposed with an ultimate aim to merge nutrition interventions with the existing national health policies.[4] These actions have given their emphasis toward three major areas, namely multisectoral actions (viz., involvement of sectors such as education, agriculture, trade, and industry), strategies to meet the nutritional demands in the different periods of life course, and maintenance of nutrition of infant and young child feeding and containment of micronutrient deficiencies at the time of humanitarian emergencies.[4]

Actions have been proposed targeting different age groups, namely for infants (viz., timing for umbilical cord clamping, promotion of exclusive breastfeeding, care of low birth weight infants, and Vitamin A supplementation), children (such as complementary feeding, growth monitoring, iron/Vitamin A/iodine/zinc supplementation), adolescents by promoting iron supplementation, adults (such as nutritional support during pregnancy and lactation period, supplementation of iron and iodine), and special measures for providing nutritional care for older persons.[1],[4] All these interventions are bound to make a significant impact as any form of nutritional hardship can result in short- or long-term adverse consequences.[4] Thus, by targeting different age groups, we will be in a better position to address the problem of malnutrition.[4] In addition, we have to establish a better food environment, which will enable consumption of healthy diets.[2],[3],[5]

In conclusion, the meeting of global nutrition targets will be a key component for the eventual attainment of the universal health coverage. Moreover, the proposed package of essential nutrition actions is the best chance which we have got to effectively respond to the double burden of malnutrition.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Stronger Focus on Nutrition Within Health Services Could Save 3.7 Million Lives by 2025. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/ 04-09-2019-stronger-focus-on-nutrition within-health- services-could-save-3.7-million-lives-by-2025. [Last accessed on 2019 Sep 10].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Desyibelew HD, Dadi AF. Burden and determinants of malnutrition among pregnant women in Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 2019;14:e0221712.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Necessity to urgently respond to the challenge of malnutrition: World Health Organization. Cukurova Med J 2019;44:303-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Essential Nutrition Actions: Mainstreaming Nutrition throughout the Life Course. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2019. p. 1-34.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Streamlining efforts to fight against the global problem of malnutrition in the 2016-2025 decade of action on nutrition. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1419-20.  Back to cited text no. 5
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