Ambitious, SMART commitments to address NCDs, overweight and obesity

Make the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition count for all forms of malnutrition

A third of the world’s population are affected by one or multiple forms of malnutrition (overweight and obesity, and undernutrition): 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, while 800 million people remain chronically undernourished. The global economic impact of obesity is estimated at $2 trillion a year.

More policy action to tackle malnutrition in all its forms is urgently needed if governments are to reach the global targets of the World Health Organization (WHO) on nutrition and non-communicable diseases by 2025, and the nutrition-related targets of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

To support governments as they develop national food and nutrition plans and targets, we have produced a policy brief in collaboration with NCD Alliance. The brief translates the recommendations of the Framework for Action (PDF) (an outcome document of the Second International Conference on Nutrition, ICN2) into financial and political commitments that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound and identifies opportunities for ‘double-duty actions’. As defined by the WHO, “double-duty actions include interventions, programmes and policies that have the potential to simultaneously reduce the risk or burden of both undernutrition (including wasting, stunting, and micronutrient deficiency or insufficiency) and overweight, obesity or diet-related NCDs (including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers). Double-duty actions leverage the coexistence of multiple forms of malnutrition and their shared drivers to offer integrated solutions”.

Against the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025 we call on governments to:

  • Set ambitious national food and nutrition targets
  • Make SMART financial and political commitments to implement the ICN2 Framework for Action
  • Develop robust accountability mechanisms to review, report on and monitor SMART commitments
  • Align national agriculture, nutrition, and NCD strategies and related policies to ensure policy coherence
  • Invest in research on and prioritise double-duty actions

You can download the policy brief as a pdf.

We have also prepared an extended version of the policy brief. This includes many more example commitments, case studies as well as references, and can be downloaded here. The extended version is only available in English.

A copy of the 2016 version of this brief can be downloaded in EnglishSpanishFrench and Portuguese.