Type: Report

Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition

On April 16, 2015, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs released a report calling on the United States to use the power of the agriculture and food sector to reduce the reality and risks of malnutrition globally. Malnutrition – from undernourishment to obesity – is a global challenge affecting every country on earth. Given that nutrition is driven largely by the food people eat, making nutrition a priority in developing our global food system could give billions more people access to the healthy foods they need to thrive. In light of these challenges and opportunities, the Chicago Councils report “Healthy Food for a Healthy World” recommends that:

  • The U.S. Congress commit to a long-term global food and nutrition strategy focused on agricultural development and convene a bipartisan Commission on how to tackle nutrition challenges globally.
  • The U.S. government, in partnership with universities and research institutes, increase funding for nutrition research to expand access to nutrient-rich foods and address malnutrition.
  • The U.S. draw on the strength of its research facilities and universities to train the next generation of agriculture, food, and nutrition leaders both here and in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • Government and industry work together to support more efficient and wider delivery of healthy foods, especially through technologies that can reduce food waste and enhance food safety.

The 2013 Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition

In a follow up to its 2008 series, The Lancet’s 2013 series on maternal and child nutrition revealed that improvements in nutrition remain “a massive unfinished agenda.” Perhaps the most startling new finding was the revelation that malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all child deaths each year—3 million children under age 5—and is the single greatest threat to child survival. The evidence within The Lancet reinforced the case for improving nutrition in the first 1,000 days, highlighting 10 proven nutrition interventions could save almost 1 million lives and reduce the number of stunted children by 33 million.

The 2008 Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition

In 2008, the British Medical journal The Lancet published a landmark series of papers which led to a seismic shift in how the world addresses maternal and child malnutrition. The 2008 Lancet Series provided the foundation of scientific evidence upon with 1,000 Days was created.