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CARPE DIEM! – The Lancet

This blog is one of several published in real time during the live event “nutrition for growth; beating hunger through business and science”. The rest of the blogs can be found by clicking the links at the bottom of the page. Some of those organisations supporting this movement are include The IF campaignThe ONE campaign DFID

The Lancet has just published a vital series of papers bringing clarity, new data and fresh evidence about the vital role of good nutrition in infant and maternal health.

“Nutrition is crucial to both individual and national development. The evidence in
this Series furthers the evidence base that good nutrition is a fundamental driver
of a wide range of developmental goals. The post-2015 sustainable development
agenda must put addressing all forms of malnutrition at the top of its goals.”

Citing this paper the Executive Summary of the Lancet’s Maternal and Child Nutrition series says that now is a critical time for convergence of international policies and aid to create a roadmap for the future to eradicate poverty, and improve health.



With many many countries all over the globe signing up to pledge support, aid and assistance to eradicate undernutrition, NOW is the time for you (yes YOU!) to get involved and make this movement unstoppable.

For the scientists and those in business, its a call to arms. For everyone else, support, encouragement and raising awareness (for example by attending the IF campaign rally in Hyde Park this afternoon, 8th June 2013) is every bit as important if we want this movement to be truly global and to succeed.


The Nutrition For Growth event today, and rally this afternoon are just two in a global series of events to publicise this new commitment to the world.

One such event, scheduled to launch the publication last Thursday of five papers feautring new data and policy recommendations on global nutrition.

The papers are a follow-up to the Lancet’s landmark 2008 Series, which helped put nutrition on the global health and development agenda and identified the 1,000 days of a mother’s pregnancy until her child’s second birthday as the priority window for impact.

The new Lancet series examines the current and expected extent of maternal and child undernutrition and obesity, and the interventions that are appropriate for low- and middle-income countries.


Lancet author Richard Horton (@richardhorton1) tweeted his own highlights from the nutrition symposium. Food for thought. (literally)


1. Adolescents are one the greatest opportunities for defeating the effects of undernutrition.

2. Our focus should not be on the treatment of severe acute malnutrition, but its prevention.

3. We need to move from death to development (that was David Nabarro).

4. Focusing on evidence is good. But we also need to look at what is plausible. Or else we will miss opportunities.

5. We don’t do enough to study success stories, countries that have succeeded with nutrition programmes. Broaden what we mean by evidence.

6. Don’t talk about the public and private sector. Talk about the “real-life sector.” Expand

7. We have a window of opportunity for nutrition today. But who is “we”?

8. We are just too polite in our debates about technical solutions to undernutrition. We need to change the moral levers in our society.

9. There is only $220 million spent on nutrition from overseas development aid. This is truly pathetic. We need $9.6 billion/year.

10. Jim Kim: “Globally, 165 million children under 5 are stunted as a result of malnutrition. This is the face of poverty.”


The Lancet series includes

  • New estimates of the global magnitude, distribution and consequences of malnutrition, including estimates of the deaths attributable to undernutrition
  • Analysis of the efficacy and impact of proven interventions to address nutrition
  • Estimates of the cost and impact of scaling up proven nutrition-specific interventions in the 34 Countdown countries
  • Analysis of the impact on improved nutrition to date of agriculture, social safety net, education
  • and early childhood development programs
  • A review of the political and policy progress to date since the first Series
  • An update on national policy commitments and processes in high-burden SUN countries
  • Commentary from the Series’ authors urging policymakers to use the findings as an evidence base for renewed, concerted action to tackle the unfinished nutrition agenda

A PDF of the executive summary can be viewed HERE


Why the time to act is now: https://wp.me/p3scvU-lT


Mark Walport: https://wp.me/p3scvU-lR


Ireland remembers: https://wp.me/p3scvU-lN


Malawi: https://wp.me/p3scvU-lK


It’s not difficult to make a difference: https://wp.me/p3scvU-lK


Some bloke called Dave https://wp.me/p3scvU-lr


Unicef’s 1000 Days https://wp.me/p3scvU-lm


Can science end starvation? https://wp.me/p3scvU-lg

So, what do you think ?