Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
Home About us Ahead Of Print Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Editorial Board Login 
Users Online:1433
  Print this page  Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
 


 
Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1419-1420
Streamlining efforts to fight against the global problem of malnutrition in the 2016-2025 decade of action on nutrition


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication11-Jan-2018
 

How to cite this article:
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

How to cite this URL:
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 [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Sep 24];10:1419-20. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/6/1419/222711


Dear Sir,

Malnutrition has become a global public health concern and is not unusual to identify people living with various forms of malnutrition either in the same nation or the same society or even in the same family.[1] It no longer remains an issue of representing itself as hunger affecting people in developing nations or obesity in developed nations, but is present everywhere.[1],[2] It often encompasses a wide range of illnesses like undernutrition, specific nutrient deficiencies, and overnutrition and has been associated with deaths, disabilities, blindness, mental retardation, and impairment in the brain development.[2]

To be precise, it has been estimated that 33% of the world's population are affected by some form of malnutrition.[2] Further, it has been identified that more than 800 million people across the world remain hungry each day, while in excess of 150 million and 50 million under-five children were estimated to be stunted and wasted, respectively.[3] In addition, undernutrition has been acknowledged as one of the critical predisposing factors to contribute to more than 40% of child fatality.[3],[4] However, it is important to understand that malnutrition actually refers to bad nutrition and is not only restricted to not eating adequately as simultaneously more than 40 million children and near about 2 billion adults globally are overweight or obese.[2],[3],[4]

Moreover, it can result that because of eating very less food (undernutrition/stunting/impaired development/death) or too much food (overweight, lifestyle disorders, malignancies, etc.) or even due to the wrong combination or food items with limited nutritional value (resulting in specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies) or contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms (as it may lead to diarrhoea and significant weight loss).[1],[2],[3] From the consequences perspective, it casts a serious financial burden on the household, society, and on the prospects of a nation's growth and financial stability.[1],[4],[5] Malnourished children are often at the risk of acquiring a wide range of infectious diseases, poor psychosocial development, cognition impairment, and thus not only the problem of malnutrition enhances the expenditure of households on the restoration of the health, but even adds a significant burden on the health care delivery system.[2],[4],[5]

Acknowledging all these concerns, the policy makers from all nations have advocated and even agreed to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.[3] In fact, in order to achieve the set target and to instill fresh energy into the ongoing efforts aimed to ameliorate the nutrition status of people, the period from 2016 to 2025 has been declared as the decade of action on nutrition.[2] As poverty is the most important determinant for malnutrition in developing nations, eradicating the same through specific interventions will be the most crucial step in the mission to battle against malnutrition.[1],[2],[3] Further, there is a great need to ensure that mothers' nourishment is well maintained to avoid both low birth weights and minimize the risk of becoming overweight in the adulthood.[2],[4]

Simultaneously, attention has to be given toward the transformation of food systems to ensure that all people have easy access to healthy and nutritious food items.[4] In addition, measures should be taken to minimize the existing inequalities which prevent people accessing healthier diet, and to strengthen the quality of health systems to facilitate access to essential nutrition services.[1],[2] It is high time that all the international agencies pool their resources and streamline their efforts to deal with this public health menace.[1],[3] However, nothing sustainable can be achieved, unless national plans and strategies are formulated and implemented to meet with the local challenges prevailing in a nation.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, the problem of malnutrition is ubiquitous and affects everyone regardless of the socioeconomic status. The decade of action on nutrition gives an opportunity to all the stakeholders to take more responsibility and work effectively to have a healthy and sustainable future.

Acknowledgment

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Formulating a comprehensive strategy to counter the menace of malnutrition in developing countries. Arch Med Health Sci 2014;2:266-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Branca F. Ending malnutrition in all its forms? A decade of opportunity. 2016. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/commentaries/ending-malnutrition-opportunity/en/ [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 9].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Infant and young child feeding - Fact sheet. 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs342/en/ [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 10].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Childhood malnutrition: Where does the world stand? What else is needed? Int J Prev Med 2016;7:36.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Kanan SO, Swar MO. Prevalence and outcome of severe malnutrition in children less than five-year-old in Omdurman Paediatric Hospital, Sudan. Sudan J Paediatr 2016;16:23-30.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    

Top
Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai village, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.222711

Rights and Permissions




 

Top
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *


    References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed360    
    Printed7    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded12    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal