Why tackle malnutrition?

Bringing change to a changing world

If we don’t want malnutrition to shape a grim global reality, we need to reach the world’s most vulnerable with adequate nutrition.

The world is in flux. More people are hungry than ever before, with an additional 50 million people affected in 20211. Climate emergency, COVID-19 and now war have disrupted food systems and supply chains, causing further damage to an already fractured and unequal food infrastructure across the world.

The damage caused by malnutrition is unprecedented. It starts early in the life cycle and the effects linger far into the future.

Average IQ according to Birth Weight

(1) A gradient relationship between low birth weight and IQ: A meta-analysis, scientific reports volume 7, article numer: 18035 (2017) (Huaiting Gu, & Lixia Wang)

  • Low birth weight babies have a 10-11 point deficiency in IQ from childhood to adulthood (source: Gu H and Wang L, et al., 2017). Birth weight is directly impacted by maternal nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy.
  • 66 million primary-school-aged children attend class hungry across the developing world (source: WFP, 2012). Low birth weight, stunted growth, and continued childhood malnutrition make learning difficult.
  • Malnourished children go on to earn, on average, 20% less than average as adults (source: Grantham MG et al., 2007).
  • The loss to national productivity and economic growth caused by malnutrition is equivalent to 8-11% of the GDP (source: WFP, 2017).
The ROI in nutrition is rising

Besides improving livelihoods, good nutrition is a prerequisite for nearly 50% of the SDGs set by the UN, while forming the supportive base for every single one of them.

Here’s what a world without malnutrition could look like
  • Fewer child deaths: Over one-third of child deaths every year would be prevented.
  • Lower disability: We would reduce the burden of disability for children under five by over 50%.
  • Improved livelihoods: Children would grow up to enjoy up to 50% improved wage rates as adults.
  • More female entrepreneurship: Young girls would be 10% more likely to become entrepreneurs as adults.
  • Reduced poverty: Children would be 33% more likely to escape poverty as adults.
  • Richer economies: The GNP of countries in Africa and Asia would rise by 11%.
  • More education for all: School attainment would increase.

We make science-driven and timely investments in nutrition because it is essential to uplift vulnerable populations, break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, supercharge the demographic dividend, and advance global welfare and growth.

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