Menu ENN Search

Joint IAEA-WHO-UNICEF workshop on biological pathways to better understand the double burden of malnutrition

While stunting and wasting are still important public health problems in low and middle-income countries, rapid nutrition and epidemiologic transitions have led to increased rates of obesity and associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This double burden of malnutrition exists at national, household and individual levels. There is need for integrated nutrition actions – the “double-duty actions for nutrition”1 – tailored to address several forms of malnutrition. Isotope techniques can complement routine methods by accurately measuring body fatness and breastfeeding practices. Therefore, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) organised a workshop on the analysis of biological pathways to better understand the double burden of malnutrition and to inform action planning.

Fifty participants from United Nations (UN) Organisations (WHO, UNICEF, IAEA and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)), academia, policy, ministries of health and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) met in Vienna from 3-5 October 2017 to discuss the double burden of malnutrition, its epidemiology, the biological pathways that drive it and how policy and interventions can be framed to address the phenomenon. The role of nuclear techniques in understanding the biological pathways and in assessing the impact of interventions was emphasised.

Participants at the IAEA-WHO-UNICEF joint workshop in Vienna

The main target areas for interventions were identified as baby-friendly initiatives2 (e.g. in hospitals), promotion of healthy feeding and physical activity in pre-school and school environments, supporting healthy living and breastfeeding at workplaces, and engaging with food sectors to promote healthier options. Stable isotope techniques will become increasingly important in providing accurate evidence to enable the design and evaluation of such interventions, especially those related to infant and young child feeding (IYCF), physical activity and body composition, and the evaluation of diet quality. The workshop focused on bridging from biology to context-relevant interventions and considerations for policy.

Workshop participants agreed that, although the biological mechanisms contributing to the double burden of malnutrition are not yet fully understood, sufficient evidence is available to implement interventions addressing the problem. Participants identified knowledge gaps to be addressed in order to improve the understanding of the multiple factors contributing to the double burden of malnutrition and ensure effective double-duty actions. These include: to improve understanding of the biological pathways linking early nutrition to later risk of NCDs; communicate biological evidence in plain language to ensure successful translation and integration into nutrition interventions; and to integrate multiple sectors (e.g. health, agricultural, environmental, education and trade) in nutrition actions and policies to respond to the complex causes of the double burden of malnutrition. Finally, it was emphasised that current assessment methods are not adequately addressing the double burden of malnutrition, either at individual or at population level.

IAEA, in cooperation with WHO and UNICEF, will organise an International Symposium on Understanding the Double Burden of Malnutrition for Effective Interventions in Vienna 10-13 December 2018 to provide scientists, public health professionals, implementers and policy-makers an opportunity to share experiences and develop action plans to fight malnutrition in all its forms. Abstract submission is open until 23 April 2018. www.iaea.org/events/understanding-the-double-burden-of-malnutrition-symposium-2018

Read more...

Endnotes

1Double-duty actions include interventions, programmes and policies that have the potential to simultaneously reduce the risk or burden of both undernutrition and overweight, obesity or diet-related NCDs. www.who.int/nutrition/publications/double-duty-actions-nutrition-policybrief/en

2www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/

More like this

en-net: Symposium on the Double Burden of Malnutrition

International Symposium on Understanding the Double Burden of Malnutrition for Effective Interventions
Date: 10–13 December 2018
Venue: IAEA headquarters,...

en-net: Symposium on the Double Burden of Malnutrition - Extended abstract submission deadline

International Symposium on Understanding the Double Burden of Malnutrition for Effective Interventions

Date: 10–13 December 2018
Venue: IAEA headquarters,...

en-net: IAEA Nutrition Specialist (P4)

[url]https://www.iaea.org/about/employment[/url] [url]https://iaea.taleo.net/careersection/ex/jobsearch.ftl[/url] Nutrition Specialist(P4) - (2015/0232 (013154)) Primary...

IAEA double burden workshop report

Report is out from the joint IAEA-WHO-UNICEF workshop on analysis of biological pathways to better understand the double burden of malnutrition and to inform action planning....

FEX: Implementation of a field study of body composition among young infants in sub-Saharan Africa

By Ezekiel Mupere, John Mukisa, Lynnth Turyagyenda, Peace Aber, Luke S Uebelhoer, Celine Bourdon, Robert Bandsma, Emmanuel Chimwezi, Jonathan C Wells, Wieger Voskuijl, Judd L...

Other meetings the ENN has participated in

Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Global Gathering in Milan, October 2015 Bonn WASH Nutrition Forum, 11-12 November 2015 ODI/Centre for Global Development hosted meeting on 'Doing...

NEX: Nourishing the Sustainable Development Goals: Global Nutrition Report 2017

In this fourth Global Nutrition Report (GNR), significant burdens of three key forms of malnutrition (child stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age and overweight in...

Blog post: Reflections from 6th Annual Scientific Symposium on Agriculture- Nutrition Pathways

My winter began in Kathmandu last week where I attended the 6th Annual Scientific Symposium on Agriculture- Nutrition Pathways organised by Feed the Future Innovation Lab for...

FEX: Improving care of people with NCDs in humanitarian settings

News By Emily Mates, ENN Technical Director (meeting attendee) There is an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among people displaced and otherwise affected...

IAEA NAHRES newsletter Jan 2017

The 5th newsletter of the IAEA Nutritional and Health Related Environmental Studies Section (NAHRES) is now out - find out more about the IAEA's role in using stable...

IAEA newsletter

The 7th newsletter of the IAEA Nutritional and Health Related Environmental Studies Section (NAHRES) is now out - find out more about the IAEA's role in using stable...

NEX: Regional nutrition strategies to address the double burden in the Eastern Mediterranean

Dr Ayoub Al Jawaldeh has been the Regional Adviser for Nutrition in the WHO Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean Region since 2009, leading the Regional Nutrition...

NEX: Regional nutrition strategies to address the double burden in the Eastern Mediterranean

Dr Ayoub Al Jawaldeh has been the Regional Adviser for Nutrition in the WHO Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean Region since 2009, leading the Regional Nutrition...

FEX: Tackling the double burden of malnutrition in low and middle-income countries: response of the international community

Research By Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera is a Humanitarian Nutrition Adviser with Save the Children. She has ten years of experience of public...

FEX: Double Burden of obesity and malnutrition in Western Sahara refugees

Summary of published research1 There is growing recognition of a ‘double burden’ of malnutrition among populations in both affluent and less-affluent countries, i.e. the...

FEX: Research Snapshots

The following provides a short summary of each of these important research studies. A fuller summary of each can be found online at www.ennonline.net/fex Inpatient management...

en-net: Consultancy on Nutrition Sensitive Programming

JOB TITLE: Consultant on Nutrition Sensitive Programming
TYPE OF CONTRACT: CST
UNIT/DIVISION: OSN (Nutrition-Sensitive Team)
DUTY STATION (City, Country):...

en-net: WHO Technical Officer post on scientific advice on nutrition

The Vacancy Notice for a P3 Technical Officer’s post in the area of scientific advice on nutrition (Temporary for 1 year) has now been posted...

IAEA Nutrition newsletter

Read what the IAEA has been doing in its latest newsletter on nutritional and health-related environmental studies, including workshops, training and the development of a...

FEX: Technical brief on the cost of malnutrition

Summary of research1 Location: Global What we know: Poor nutrition carries a significant economic burden at individual, national and global levels and prevents poverty...

Close

Reference this page

Joint IAEA-WHO-UNICEF workshop on biological pathways to better understand the double burden of malnutrition. Field Exchange 57, March 2018. p39. www.ennonline.net/fex/57/iaeawhounicefworkshop