Although chronic hunger is still affecting 690 million people globally, the face of malnutrition has changed significantly. We have micronutrient deficiencies affecting about two billion people and overweight and obesity are rising rapidly, currently affecting over two billion persons globally. Many countries are facing multiple burdens of malnutrition. Underlying the current global nutrition situation are poor diets which are now the leading cause of disease (especially non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and some cancers) and death.
The spotlight has now shifted to food systems and their failings in providing healthy diets. The 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report (SOFI 2020) presented concerning statistics highlighting that globally three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet.
Today the question to ask is: can the world produce enough nutritious food to nourish its fast-growing population? Working towards the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, FAO’s mandate in raising levels of nutrition should focus on ensuring healthy diets within a transformed food system.
- OPENING REMARKS: Dr QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO
- Moderator: Dr Máximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO
- Prof. Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Food Policy and Ethics, Johns Hopkins University – Our quest for healthy diets within sustainable food systems: Challenges and prospects
- Dr Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) – Commentary
- Prof. William A. Masters, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Department of Economics, Tufts University – Affordability of healthy diets for all people at all times: Measuring change in 21st century food systems
- Dr Anna Lartey, Director, Food and Nutrition Division, FAO – FAO Nutrition: How far we have come and the way forward
- Dr Rob Knight, Professor of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and Computer Science & Engineering, University of California, San Diego
- Dr Francesco Branca, Director, Nutrition and Food Safety Department, World Health Organization (WHO)
- Prof. Sandy Thomas, Director, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition