With nearly two billion people suffering from malnutrition across the planet, scientists and public health experts came together under an unprecedented alliance spearheaded by The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences to create A Global Research Agenda for Nutrition Science to identify the most critical knowledge gaps in the field of nutrition. The report supports the ongoing effort to accelerate global commitment, cooperative work, and funding to uncover and implement scientific and evidence-based solutions to malnutrition.
This Agenda offers a portrayal of the current state of knowledge in the field of nutrition, and critical gaps in evidence that need to be urgently filled in order to maximize resources and develop solutions for the various aspects of the global problem of malnutrition.
Specifically, this Agenda calls for concerted and coordinated research on:
environmental and societal trends affecting food and nutrition;
unresolved issues of nutrition in the lifecycle; and
delivery of intervention and operational gaps.
"Nutrition is integral to some of the most severe global challenges of our time. The shrewd application of science to understanding the complexities of human nutrition helps establish the maps that guide us as we move forward," says Dr. David Nabarro, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Food Security and Nutrition.
"This Agenda, being developed by The Sackler Institute and WHO, in conjunction with many other scientists and practitioners worldwide, should serve as a basis for the application of science to develop solutions for the critical issues in nutrition and development. It is bound to be an ever-growing Agenda-and ever-changing Agenda-because that is how science is," Nabarro adds.
Malnutrition, which includes both under- and over-nutrition, affects more than a quarter of the world's population. Poor nutrition causes a range of serious and costly health problems, from impaired cognitive and physical development to illness, disease, and death. The implications extend far beyond health outcomes, affecting workforce capacity, political stability, and economic progress.