Global Nutrition

 

With the generous support of the Eleanor Crook Foundation, the 2030 Collaborative is working to galvanize interest, support, and advocacy for the issues of global nutrition. Nutrition is one of the most overlooked areas in global health and development today. Though the U.S. has been a historic leader in global health initiatives, we still do not provide enough funding for simple measures to prevent hunger and malnutrition.

Consider these facts: 

  • More than 795 million people around the world suffer from hunger.

  • Nearly one in three people worldwide suffer from malnutrition.

  • If hunger or malnutrition were categorized as a disease, we would call it a pandemic of biblical proportions.

  • Hunger and malnutrition cause lifelong problems due to weakened immune systems, susceptibility to chronic disease, stunting, wasting and obesity.

  • Stunting is a consequence of severe and long-lasting malnutrition in which a child fails to achieve the expected height for his or her age. It is present when child is more than 3 standard deviations shorter than an average child of the same age.

  • Nearly 1 in 4 children worldwide have been stunted by chronic lack of nourishment.

  • Severely wasted children are 11 times more likely to die than their healthy counterparts, and two million children waste away every year.

  • Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight.

  • Obesity increases the risk of illness, disability and death.

  • One-third of the world's population is now overweight or obese, and 62% of these individuals live in developing countries.

  • Such obesity can result from the poor nutrition inflicted by an imported “Western” diet high in fat and “junk” food.

  • 1000 Days: The 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday are most critical for healthy development. Good nutrition provides the fuel for building cognitive and physical capacity for a lifetime.

  • Maternal & Child Mortality: Anemia from iron deficiency affects over half a billion women worldwide, which can lead to maternal death and stillbirths, prematurity, and low birth weight.

  • Over five million children die every year from preventable, treatable causes; and nearly half of those children die from lack of nutrition.

In the face of such dire facts, we can be encouraged by practical solutions with proven results. For example, scaling up breastfeeding could save the lives of an estimated 832,000 children per year. Breastfeeding boosts immunity, protects from diseases, increases intelligence, and is essential for healthy growth. In addition, other solutions include vitamin, micronutrient, iron and folic acid supplementation; staple food fortification; education about effective hygiene practices and, of course, immediate treatment of severe acute malnutrition.

Please join us in advocating for the protection or increase of funding for nutrition. U.S. assistance could take the form of (1) bilateral funding for nutrition, (2) Feed the Future program funding, (3) Food Aid, (4) emergency response programs to address food insecurity in conflict areas and humanitarian crises, and (5) multilateral programs such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The return on the investment in nutrition is impressive. For every $1 invested in nutrition and food security, there is a return of $16 in economic benefits.


Bible Verses (NRSV)

James 2:15-17

If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

1 John 3:17-18

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.

Proverbs 25:21 

If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink.

Isaiah 58:7 

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Isaiah 58:10 

If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

Matthew 25:34-40 

Then the kind will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the kind will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’