New series from The Lancet highlights global challenges for obesity and undernutrition
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Rachel Nugent, vice president for RTI’s Center for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), and Brian Hutchinson, RTI public health analyst, are co-authors of a paper that is part of The Lancet series on the Double Burden of Malnutrition, launched today in London. The Series examines multiple forms of malnutrition, including undernutrition and obesity, and offers remedies – called “double-duty” solutions – to reducing malnutrition.
Nugent and Hutchinson’s paper, which also includes insights from co-authors Carol Levin and Jessica Hale, suggests the economic benefits of implementing double-duty actions and concludes that new economic modelling tools are required to accurately estimate the economic impact of the double burden of malnutrition.
“Being overweight or obese are major risk factors for some of the most prevalent noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes,“ says Dr. Nugent, lead author of the paper. “The number of overweight and obese individuals has nearly tripled since 1975; at the same time, undernutrition continues to affect young children’s physical and cognitive development around the globe. Given the importance of this dual challenge that is often occurring in the same geographical locations, this cannot be an ‘either/or’ solution – it has to be ‘both/and.’ Our work argues for developing the economic case for reducing all forms of malnutrition.”
The full series, which explores how obesity and undernutrition are affecting low- and middle-income countries, can be accessed free of charge here. Additional papers in the series include:
- “Dynamics of the double burden of malnutrition and the changing nutrition reality”;
- “The double burden of malnutrition: aetiological pathways and consequences for health”;
- “Double-duty actions: seizing programme and policy opportunities to address malnutrition in all its forms” and
- Expert commentary on “A new nutrition manifesto for a new nutrition reality”
RTI’s Center for Noncommunicable Diseases, led by Dr. Nugent, provides partners with expertise in health economics and financing, health system strengthening, communication science and data science to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal set forth by the World Health Organization to reduce mortality from NCDs by one-third by 2030. We work with countries to design, implement and evaluate policy, prevention and treatment interventions and long-term solutions. Our research guides global and national decision-making to reduce the burden of NCDs.
To learn more, visit www.rti.org/emerging-issue/global-noncommunicable-diseases.