Good nutrition is the bedrock of human well-being. Before birth and throughout infancy, good nutrition allows brain functioning to evolve without impairment and immune systems to develop more robustly. For young children, good nutrition status averts death and equips the body to grow and develop to its full potential. Over the course of the human lifespan, it leads to more effective learning at school, better-nourished mothers who give birth to better-nourished children, and adults who are likelier to be productive and earn higher wages. In middle age, it gives people metabolisms that are better prepared to ward off the diseases associated with changes in diet and physical activity. Without good nutrition, people’s lives and livelihoods are built on quicksand.
Good nutrition is also central to the sustainable development agenda that is taking shape in the form of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now under discussion. Inherently sustaining, good nutrition flows throughout the life cycle and across the generations. It promotes individual resilience in the face of shocks and uncertainties generated by climate change and extreme price fluctuations. It supports the generation of innovations needed to meet the joint challenge of improving the lives of current and future generations in ways that are environmentally sustainable.
This Global Nutrition Report is the first in an annual series. It tracks worldwide progress in improving nutrition status, identifies bottlenecks to change, highlights opportunities for action, and contributes to strengthened nutrition accountability. The report series was created through a commitment of the signatories of the Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013. It is supported by a wide-ranging group of stakeholders and delivered by an Independent Group of Experts in partnership with a large number of external contributors.
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