WHO releases the 2016 Global Nutrition Report (14 June 2016)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Nutrition Report 2016.

The Global Nutrition Report 2016 is entitled ‘From Promise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030’.

Key Messages:

The Global Nutrition Report is the only independent and comprehensive annual review of the state of the world’s nutrition.

This year’s report focuses on the theme of making—and measuring—SMART commitments to nutrition and identifying what it will take to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.

Malnutrition and poor diets constitute the number-one driver of the global burden of disease.

This report presents new data on the cost of malnutrition to both societies and individuals.

If we continue with business as usual, the world will not meet the global nutrition and NCD targets adopted by the World Health Assembly.

Nearly all countries are off course, though, for meeting targets on anemia in women
and adult overweight, diabetes, and obesity.

Obesity and overweight, rising in every region and nearly every country, are now a staggering global challenge. The number of children under 5 who are overweight is approaching the number who suffer from wasting.

The number of stunted children under 5 is declining in every region except Africa and Oceania; the number of overweight children under 5 is increasing most rapidly in Asia.

Nutrition is central to the Sustainable Development Goals- 12 of the 17 SDGs contain indicators that are highly relevant to nutrition.

Improved nutrition is the platform for progress in health, education, employment, female empowerment, and poverty and inequality reduction. In turn, poverty and inequality, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, food systems, climate change, social protection, and agriculture all have an important impact on nutrition outcomes.

Given the scale of the malnutrition problem, current spending designed to overcome it is too low.

Spending on nutrition-related NCDs also appears low.

Despite the fact that nutrition-related NCDs account for nearly half of all deaths and disability in low and middle-income countries, data in the report shows that donors spent just $50 million on these types of NCDs in 2014.

The report finds that donors and governments that prioritized nutrition in their policy documents spent more on nutrition.

Countries that set undernutrition targets also reduce stunting faster. Despite this, analysis shows that most nutrition plans do not include the full set of targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition, and when countries have set targets, only two-thirds of them are SMART.

The report highlights the need to dramatically strengthen the implementation of both policies and programs.

Core policies and programs that promote breastfeeding are seriously lagging- only 36% of countries implement all or many provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breast milk substitutes.

No country has adopted a comprehensive approach to regulating the marketing of foods and nonalcoholic beverages to children.

Two-thirds of countries have made no progress in carrying out three core WHO recommendations to promote healthy diets (salt reduction, trans- and saturated fat reduction, and implementation of WHO’s Recommendations on Marketing to children).

The report supports the call for a data revolution for nutrition.The scarcity of data prevents us from identifying and learning from real progress at the global and national levels. It also hides inequalities within countries, making it more difficult for governments to know about them and for others to hold governments fully accountable.

Useful Links:

Link to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report (full report):


Link to the summary (English) [PDF]:


Link to the summary (Chinese) [PDF]:


Link to the summary (Portuguese) [PDF]:


Link to the summary (Spanish) [PDF]:


Link to the summary (French) [PDF]:


Link to the Global Nutrition Report web site:


Link to WHO page on the 2016 Global Nutrition Report:


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