World

50 Numbers to Help End Malnutrition by 2030

Global Nutrition Report 2015

The 2015 Global Nutrition Report contains a lot of numbers. We have been asking panellists at various launch events which they find most interesting and why. Here is our top 50 list of  statistics, organised around key points. They are intended to be useful for your briefing notes, speeches, power points, press releases, tweets, blogs, opinion pieces and conversations. Please use them — numbers are just numbers until you bring them to life to contribute to a movement for change.

 

The scale of malnutrition worldwide is staggering

1 in 3 proportion of people on the planet who are malnourished
1 in 12 number of adults with raised blood glucose levels or diabetes
45 percentage of countries that face a double burden of malnutrition—that is, undernutrition combined with overweight, obesity, and/or nutrition-related noncommunicable diseases
 more than 50 percentage of children under age 5 who are stunted or wasted in 5 countries studied (Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Nigeria)
193 number of countries, out of 193 UN member countries, with a serious malnutrition problem
42 million number of children under age 5 worldwide who are overweight or obese
51 million number of children under age 5 worldwide who are wasted (too thin)
161 million number of children under age 5 worldwide who are stunted (too short)
795 million number of people who are hungry
1.9 billion number of people worldwide who are overweight or obese
2 billion number of people who are micronutrient deficient (do not get enough vitamins and minerals)

 

We are paying high human and financial costs for malnutrition

2–20% share of health costs around the world that go to obesity treatment
10% cost of malnutrition in Malawi as a share of GDP
45% percentage of deaths of children under age 3 that are linked to malnutrition

 

And investing in nutrition has high returns

10% the 30-year compound rate of return to scaling up nutrition programs in 40 countries (the US stock market would have given you less over the past 30 years)
13% the compound rate of return to scaling up nutrition-specific interventions in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali , Nigeria, and Togo
16 to 1 the benefit-cost ratio of investing in scaling up nutrition interventions in 40 countries

 

Unfortunately, nutrition is scarcely mentioned in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

0 number of times obesity is mentioned in the SDG outcome document
1 number of SDG targets, out of 169, that mention nutrition
2 number of SDG indicators that mention nutrition
8 number of SDG indicators that should deal with nutrition, according to the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition and other organisations

 

We are making some progress, in some places, on tackling undernutrition

39 number of countries on track to meet the World Health Assembly (WHA) global target on reducing child stunting, up from 24 in 2014
67 number of countries on track to meet WHA target on reducing child wasting, up from 59 in 2014
63 number of countries on track to meet WHA target on reducing child overweight, up from 55 in 2014
39% share of children under age 5 who are stunted in India, down from 48% in 2005/2006
50% amount by which the worst-affected Indian states reduced child wasting between 2005 and 2013
100% amount by which the worst-affected Indian states increased exclusive breastfeeding between 2005 and 2013

 

In other places, nutrition is improving far too slowly or even getting worse

0 number of countries that have reversed the tide of adult obesity
1 number of countries on track to meet all 5 WHA targets: Kenya
5 number of countries on track to meet global target for reducing anemia in women of reproductive age
6 number of countries that are not on track to meet any WHA targets
30–50% projected increase in level of child stunting by 2050 because of climate change
63 number of countries that have low and increasing rates of overweight and obesity
127 number of countries that have high and increasing rates of overweight and obesity

 

We still know too little about people’s nutrition status and the actions being taken to improve it

3 number of high-impact nutrition interventions, out of 12, for which we have comparable national data on coverage
5 number of the 6 World Health Assembly global nutrition targets for which we can track progress (child stunting, child wasting, child overweight, exclusive breastfeeding, anemia in women of reproductive age; work on determining progress for low birth weight is ongoing)
9 number of the 151 new data points added to the WHO/UNICEF database that are from OECD countries (Australia, Chile, and Japan)
58 number of countries that can track only one WHA target
108 number of counties that can track four WHA targets, up from 99 in 2014
115 number of countries without enough data to assess progress on exclusive breastfeeding

 

Actions by nutrition stakeholders show areas of both progress and failure

1.3 average share of government budget allocated to nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive spending in 14 SUN member countries
6 number of donors that made commitments at the 2013 Nutrition for Growth (N4G) summit, out of 13, that failed to report on the full set of financial data requested by the Global Nutrition Report
10 number of SUN member countries’ nutrition plans, out of 26, that mention climate explicitly
13 number of donors that spent less than US$1 million on nutrition-specific interventions in 2013
21% share of N4G commitments that were not reported on, up from 10% in 2014
24 number of Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI) indicators, out of 178, for which all 25 companies assessed scored zero
30 number of counties undertaking a nutrition accounting process within their government budgets, up from 3 in 2014
30% share of the 284 commitments made at the 2013 N4G summit that are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and timely (SMART)
~US$1 billion donors’ nutrition-specific disbursements in 2013, up from US$0.5 billion in 2012
~US$5 billion donors’ nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive official development assistance (ODA) disbursements, in 2013; equal to 4 percent of ODA

 

This post was written by Lawrence Haddad and first appeared on Development Horizons.

 

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