Re: The e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is the unique global voice of the diabetes community. IDF’s strength lies in the capacity of our Member Associations – over 220 national diabetes associations in 170 countries – who connect global advocacy to local reality and deliver vital diabetes prevention, treatment and care services worldwide. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to this FAO/WFP consultation on Food and Nutrition Security in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The global diabetes epidemic is an urgent and overwhelming challenge which no country has under control. In 2012, IDF estimates there were 371 million people with diabetes, and this number is expected to rise to 552 million people by 2030 with the greatest acceleration in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Up to half of all people with diabetes are still undiagnosed. While the challenge remains immense, the global diabetes community has made significant progress in elevating diabetes onto the global agenda, with the 2006 UN Resolution on Diabetes and the 2011 UN High-Level Summit on Non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Now, IDF’s Global Diabetes Plan 2011-2021 sets out a ten year framework for action with three priority objectives – to improve health outcomes, prevent type 2 diabetes and prevent discrimination against people with diabetes – which we call on FAO/WFP to reflect within the post-2015 development agenda.

Within the context of post-2015, IDF aims to ensure the centrality of health and diabetes/NCDs is reflected across all dimensions of development – social, economic and environmental. In this proposal, IDF presents the connections between diabetes and food security in order to strengthen the place of health within food security, and advance a future development agenda that is people-centred, inclusive and sustainable. 

Key Messages

Traditionally malnutrition has been understood to describe undernutrition, underweight, stunting and hunger. However, today we face a triple burden of malnutrition: undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency and overnutrition/overconsumption, often times in the same country, community or household.

The triple burden of malnutrition is symptomatic of underlying problems: poverty, inequalities and a dysfunctional food system that is unable to meet the health and nutrition needs of its population.

Combating the triple burden of malnutrition will require guaranteeing the right to adequate diets for all, reforming agricultural and food policies, including through taxation, and reshaping food systems for the promotion of sustainable diets.

Current initiatives have not adequately balanced the need for interventions which work now and in the short-term, with the need for long-term thinking and prevention of health and nutrition problems in the future.

A single focus on undernutrition, the approach most common to date, is insufficient to address the range of nutritional problems affecting every country in the world, and the oncoming tsunami of overweight/obesity, diabetes and other NCDs.

The emphasis in the post-2015 development framework should not be only on increasing food, but ensuring that all populations have sufficient access to affordable healthy foods which are environmentally sustainable. To obtain this holistic, nutrition-focused approach, we recommend the following goals and objectives:

Goal: To ensure adequate and healthy food for all

  • Objectives:
    • To halt the rise in overweight and obesity for children and adults by 2025
    • Reduction in the global number of children under five who are stunted by 2025
    • Increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in the first six months by 2025
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  • We also recommend that a global food systems objective/indicator be developed, which can assess the healthfulness of the food system, a critical piece to achieving a healthy and secure food supply for the world.

For our full submission, please see the attached document.

Courtney Scott
Policy and Advocacy Junior Professional Officer