No matter how it is defined, nutrition starts with what we eat, the products of the food and agriculture sector.
By working on our food systems, on the way we produce, collect, store, transport, transform and distribute foods, we can improve our diets, our health and our impact on natural resources.
In lack or in excess, problems of nutrition always encompass inappropriate choices and practices. Nutrition education is an important step in empowering the consumer to make healthy food choices.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many changes in the daily lives of people around the world.  However, there are things that can be done to maintain a healthy lifestyle in these difficult times.

First and foremost, everyone is encouraged to follow World Health Organization (WHO) guidance and governmental advice to protect against COVID-19 infection and transmission.  Social distancing and good hygiene are the best protection for yourself and others against COVID-19.

Good nutrition is very important before during and after an infection. While no foods or dietary supplements can prevent COVID-19 infection, maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of supporting a strong immune system: check the
FAO’s recommendations to maintain a healthy diet
Learn more on FAO’s Covid-19 page.

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 food systems 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: