Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), 19-21 November 2014

INFOGRAPHIC: Key facts on hunger and malnutrition

Malnutrition in all its forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, as well as overweight and obesity – is a pervasive issue worldwide, imposing unacceptably high economic and social costs on all countries. Nutrition levels are not only an outcome of overall social and economic development, but also an essential input, impacting health, productivity and overall well-being. People who are undernourished have a weakened immune system, become ill more easily and more frequently and are less able to recover quickly and fully from disease. Malnourished children are limited in reaching their full potential in school, affecting their future job and income opportunities, and thus perpetuating a cycle of poverty. At the same time, rates of overweight and obesity continue to rise, increasing the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers and osteoarthritis, posing a significant threat to public health.

The cost of malnutrition is great, and the responsibility for proper nutrition does not lie solely on the individual. Malnutrition is a public issue—it has serious effects on the entire population, both on national health systems and on the cultural, social and economic fabric of nations. Addressing the causes requires cooperation across sectors from a range of key actors and policy makers, including governments, researchers, UN bodies and the private sector. The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) aims to bring together national leaders from these sectors to identify policy priorities for improved nutritional outcomes. Participants will also review the progress made since the first International Conference on Nutrition held in 1992, focusing specifically on country-level achievements and proven interventions in scaling up nutrition. The overall goal of ICN2 is to improve diets and raise levels of nutrition through policies that more effectively address today’s major nutrition challenges.

Check out the infographic for more key facts and figures on malnutrition, including dietary guidelines for improving personal nutrition and health.

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