FAO's role in nutrition
Good nutrition is our first defence against disease and our source of energy to live and be active. Nutritional problems caused by an inadequate diet can be of many sorts, and when they affect a generation of youngsters, they can lower their learning capacities, thus compromising their futures, perpetuating a generational cycle of poverty and malnutrition, with severe consequences on both individuals and nations.
While young children are the most vulnerable to malnutrition, the right to adequate food is universal and good nutrition is essential for all. Problems of malnutrition –undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity – exist in all countries and cut across socio-economic classes.
Emerging challenges, such as climate change, environmental sustainability and rapid technological shifts, are transforming the food system and raising questions about how to feed a growing world population in sustainable ways.
At the same time, uneven economic growth, social and economic transformations and other factors are shaping food systems and diets. As a result, the prevalence of overweight, obesity and related non-communicable diseases are increasing while undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies persist.
FAO Nutrition Strategy seeks to improve diets and raise levels of nutrition through a people-centered approach:
- Support and facilitate dialogue across Nations and sectors, for a common agenda on nutrition, agriculture, sustainable food systems and healthy diets, in particular through the upcoming joint FAO/WHO Second International Conference on Nutrition – ICN2.
- Research on and release of evidence, data and guidelines on food-based nutrition including food composition, dietary assessment, human requirements and food-based indicators).
- Develop countries’ capacities to evaluate and monitor nutrition situations, analyze options, and implement agricultural programmes and policies that impact positively on nutrition.
- Provide tools, guidance and support for the scaling up of proper nutrition education and consumer awareness at national and local levels.