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The State of the World’s Children -UNICEF

The State of the World’s Children -UNICEF

For the first time in 20 years, UNICEF’s flagship report examines the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge.The Report suggests that poor diets are damaging children health world wide.This 2019 edition of The State of the World’s Children (SOWC) examines the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge.

Report Title: ‘Children, food and nutrition: Growing well in a changing world’

Goal 2 of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda seeks to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition, and double agricultural productivity in the next 15 years. Ensuring this sustainable access to nutritious food universally will require sustainable food production and agricultural practices.

.It describes a triple burden of malnutrition: Undernutrition, hidden hunger caused by a lack of essential nutrients, and overweight among children under the age of five.

Highlights From The Report:

 The State of the World’s Children -UNICEF

  • The report warns that poor eating and feeding practices start from the earliest days of a child’s life.  Sales of milk-based formula grew by 72 per cent between 2008 and 2013 in upper middle-income countries such as Brazil, China and Turkey, largely due to inappropriate marketing and weak policies and programmes to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
  • As children begin transitioning to soft or solid foods around the six-month mark, too many are introduced to the wrong kind of diet, according to the report. Worldwide, close to 45 per cent of children between six months and two years of age are not fed any fruits or vegetables. Nearly 60 per cent do not eat any eggs, dairy, fish or meat.
  • As children grow older, their exposure to unhealthy food becomes alarming, driven largely by inappropriate marketing and advertising, the abundance of ultra-processed foods in cities but also in remote areas, and increasing access to fast food and highly sweetened beverages.
  • As a result, overweight and obesity levels in childhood and adolescence are increasing worldwide. From 2000 to 2016, the proportion of overweight children between 5 and 19 years of age doubled from 1 in 10 to almost 1 in 5. Ten times more girls and 12 times more boys in this age group suffer from obesity today than in 1975.
  • Despite progress in the past two decades, one third of children under age 5 are malnourished – stunted, wasted or overweight – while two thirds are at risk of malnutrition and hidden hunger because of the poor quality of their diets. At the center of this challenge is a broken food system that fails to provide children with the diets they need to grow healthy.

    This puts them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and, in many cases, death.

Steps Suggested By UNICEF:

To address this growing malnutrition crisis in all its forms, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, the private sector, donors, parents, families and businesses to help children grow healthy by:

1. Empowering families, children and young people to demand nutritious food, including by improving nutrition education and using proven legislation – such as sugar taxes – to reduce demand for unhealthy foods.
2. Driving food suppliers to do the right thing for children, by incentivizing the provision of healthy, convenient and affordable foods.
3. Building healthy food environments for children and adolescents by using proven approaches, such as accurate and easy-to-understand labelling and stronger controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods.
4. Mobilizing supportive systems – health, water and sanitation, education and social protection – to scale up nutrition results for all children.
5. Collecting, analyzing and using good-quality data and evidence to guide action and track progress.

State of the world’s Children 2019 -UNICEF

UNICEF REPORT
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