Nutrition lies at the foundation of good health. Without adequate nutrients, people are at substantially elevated risk for developing health problems. The World Health Organization (WHO), in a new report, is suggesting that all health services focus more on diet moving forward.
Promoting greater health for all is a top priority of the WHO. To help make that dream a reality, The WHO is urging health services to provide accurate dietary guidelines for use by care providers and their patients.
This year, the United Nations (UN) reported that over the past three years, global hunger rates have risen. This is concerning enough, but the trend is also coupled with a rise in obesity. Many people think that malnutrition or hunger only occur in populations lacking adequate food. While most of the time, that is the case, there are other factors to consider.
Most people are unaware of a person's ability to be food secure and malnourished. This happens when a person is not eating a healthy variety of foods and becomes deficient in any given nutrient.
Because much of what makes a diet insufficient is due to unique regional issues, it is not enough to simply educate people on proper nutrition. These recommendations need to be carefully tailored to each region to avoid these cases of malnourishment.
Some critical nutrition-based interventions may include info on food variety, nutrient sources, and food prep recommendations. Others may include providing folic acid to expectant mothers, promotion and support of breastfeeding, and recommendations against added sugars, salts, and fats.
Properly implemented public health initiatives will help eradicate conditions like malnutrition induced anemia and stunted growth in children. They will also help to reduce global rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension, and risk factors for heart disease.
With the attention and focus of international policymakers, global health, concerning nutrition, can be significantly improved. This will help to reduce the number of chronic illnesses seen worldwide, particularly heart disease and the associated risk factors. This is important as heart disease is the number one killer of adults worldwide, and the problem is growing.
Sources: The WHO