Nutrition Security in Developing Nations: Sustainable Food, Water, and Health

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March 29, 2013 by WASHplus

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition Security in Developing Nations: Sustainable Food, Water, and Health. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113:581-595.

POSITION STATEMENT
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all people should have consistent access to an appropriately nutritious diet of food and water, coupled with a sanitary environment, adequate health services, and care that ensure a healthy and active life for all household members. The Academy supports policies, systems, programs, and practices that work with developing nations to achieve nutrition security and self-sufficiency while being environmentally and economically sustainable.

ABSTRACT
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all people should have consistent access to an appropriately nutritious diet of food and water, coupled with a sanitary environment, adequate health services, and care that ensure a healthy and active life for all household members. The Academy supports policies, systems, programs, and practices that work with developing nations to achieve nutrition security and self-sufficiency while being environmentally and economically sustainable. For nations to achieve nutrition security, all people must have access to a variety of nutritious foods and potable drinking water; knowledge, resources, and skills for healthy living; prevention, treatment, and care for diseases affecting nutrition status; and safety-net systems during crisis situations, such as natural disasters or deleterious social and political systems.

More than 2 billion people are micronutrient deficient; 1.5 billion people are overweight or obese; 870 million people have inadequate food energy intake; and 783 million people lack potable drinking water. Adequate nutrient intake is a concern, independent of weight status. Although this article focuses on nutritional deficiencies in developing nations, global solutions for excesses and deficiencies need to be addressed. In an effort to achieve nutrition security, lifestyles, policies, and systems (eg, food, water, health, energy, education/knowledge, and economic) contributing to sustainable resource use, environmental management, health promotion, economic stability, and positive social environments are required. Food and nutrition practitioners can get involved in promoting and implementing effective and sustainable policies, systems, programs, and practices that support individual, community, and national efforts.

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