The 2017 Global Nutrition Report shows that, despite the significant steps the world has taken towards improving nutrition and associated health burdens over recent decades, nutrition is still a large-scale and universal problem. Too many people are being left behind from the benefits of improved nutrition. Yet when we look at the wider context, the opportunity for change has never been greater. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by 193 countries in 2015, offer a tremendous window of opportunity to reverse or stop these trends.
The 2017 Global Nutrition Report shows there are five core areas of development that run through the SDGs which nutrition can contribute to, and in turn, benefit from:
- sustainable food production
- health systems
- equity and inclusion
- peace and stability.
Through these areas, the report finds that improving nutrition can have a powerful multiplier effect across the SDGs. Indeed, it indicates that it will be a challenge to achieve any SDG without addressing nutrition. The report shows that there is an exciting opportunity to achieving global nutrition targets while catalysing other development goals through ‘double duty’ actions, which tackle more than one form of malnutrition at once. Likewise, potential ‘triple duty actions’, which tackle malnutrition and other development challenges, could yield multiple benefits across the SDGs.
If readers take away one message from this report, it should be that ending malnutrition in all its forms will catalyse improved outcomes across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge is huge, but it is dwarfed by the opportunity.