Author: Dr Stephanie Wrottesley (Senior Nutritionist, ENN)
Why we still need to prioritise nutrition targets and indicators for children and adolescents
Young Lives longitudinal data has allowed researchers around the world to examine how exposure to poor health and nutrition in early childhood impacts outcomes in later life. Getting the right start in life is critical as communities increasingly grapple with global crises; for example, childhood exposure to climate shocks has an unequal impact on children’s nutrition, with those from the poorest backgrounds hit hardest. Yet, in 2023, the lack of standardised nutrition surveillance systems for children over five and adolescents continue to limit our understanding of their nutrition challenges and how to address them. It also explains why very few nutrition targets exist and perpetuates the deprioritisation of routine data collection for these age groups.