The Triple Burden of Malnutrition in the Era of Globalization
The term “triple burden of malnutrition” refers to the coexistence of undernutrition (stunting and wasting), micronutrient deficiencies (often termed hidden hunger), and overnutrition (overweight and obesity). The three elements of the triple burden of malnutrition can be found simultaneously within many low-income populations and even within single families. There are common underlying causes to each element of the triple burden of malnutrition. In broad terms, these are as follows: poverty – a lack of access to the most nourishing foods; poor dietary choices – a lack of knowledge about what constitutes the most nourishing foods and a healthy diet; and food supply chain – production and marketing of cheap, low quality foods. It can be argued that the underlying influence of these distal factors is channeled through a single proximal cause – namely a low nutrient density of foods.
Stunting of Growth in Developing Countries
In this chapter, we have selected recently published papers from June 2021 to June 2022 on stunting and growth in childhood based on research on the antecedents, mechanisms, and complex pathways underpinning childhood stunting. We also include recent data on nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions including maternal health/well-being and women’s economic empowerment. Finally, we have included publications that provide insights on how to improve governance, monitoring, and evaluation of nutrition interventions at the grassroots level and provide more robust and timely impact assessments.
Nutrition in school-age children: a rationale for revisiting priorities
Middle childhood and early adolescence have received disproportionately low levels of scientific attention relative to other life stages, especially as related to nutrition and health. This review highlights the specificities of growth and development in school age, with a focus on middle childhood and early adolescence (5 years–15 years of age, for the purposes of this review), the role of nutrition, the short- and long-term consequences of inadequate nutrition, and the current global status of nutrition in this age group.
Breastfeeding in the Modern World
Breastfeeding has established benefits for both infants and mothers. In low-income countries, it reduces infant mortality up to tenfold and helps to prevent conditions such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections. Defining and measuring breastfeeding can be challenging, but the evidence suggests increased levels in high-income countries and continued high levels in middle and low-income countries. Even with the positive result, strengthening the campaign towards breastfeeding is still best. This may include support from family, partners and the wider community can be crucial in overcoming barriers to breastfeeding. Governments also boost breastfeeding by adopting policies such as maternity leave, provision of support services in hospitals and regulation of formula marketing.
Annales 79.2 - Children‘s Diets in a Changing World
The world has gone through immense and rapid changes, and this has affected how we nourish and care for our children. While nutrition has improved overall, new challenges continue to arise, like the hike in childhood obesity, overlapping nutrition problems, and climate change that threatens food security. These issues, and possible interventions, such as support for breastfeeding and a collaborative approach in different sectors are discussed more thoroughly in this edition of Annales.
Annales 78.2 - Gut Microbiota: No Longer the Forgotten Organ
While the gut microbiota was once called “the forgotten organ”, it is no longer forgotten. On the contrary, it is a hot topic for research, as documented by the rapidly increasing number of scientific papers on this subject as well as coverage in the lay press,
The coexistence of undernutrition (low birth weight, poor growth) alongside overnutrition (mainly obesity) is a phenomenon afflicting many countries as their economies develop and food availability increases. The focus of the book this phenomenon, otherwise known as the ‘nutrition transition’, which becoming increasingly prevalent in many emerging nations.
The Double Burden of Malnutrition in Countries Passing through the Economic Transition
In this paper Andrew Prentice outlines how, although many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are undergoing economic advancement, the accompanying “nutrition transition” occurring within their populations is triggering a new health challenge. Increasingly sedentary lifestyles and energy-dense diets have led to a rapid increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity.
Improvements in nutrition in many LMICs have succeed in reducing rates of stunting, but in Africa, rapid population growth has led the absolute number of children suffering from stunting to rise. The populations of many parts of Africa, as of many other LMICs, are faced with the “double burden” of malnutrition, whereby under- and overnutrition are simultaneously present in the same population, and sometimes even in the same individual.
Clinical Implications of New Insights into Hepcidin-Mediated Regulation of Iron Absorption and Metabolism
Within the past 20 years, major advances in molecular biology methods have demonstrated in detail how iron is absorbed, transported and utilized in the human body. Of particular importance has been the discovery of the liver-derived hormone hepcidin, which is now known to be the master regulator of iron, including switching down iron absorption to protect the body against infection. These new insights suggest that interventions to reduce infection and inflammation will be at least as effective as dietary interventions and that the two approaches are interdependent.