UN: FAO launches 'pocketbook' on nutrition

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday released
a comprehensive pocketbook of nutrition-related data covering all regions of the world ahead
of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place in Rome this week.

The pocket-sized book entitled: "Food and Nutrition in Numbers", is dedicated to the state
of nutrition worldwide and offers data highlighting trends on micro-nutrient deficiencies,
obesity and non-communicable diseases from 1990 to the present.

Josef Schmidhuber, Deputy Director of FAO’s Statistics Division in a statement, said:
"The pocketbook is a useful reference for policy makers, as it provides an overview of various
aspects of nutrition at country, regional and global levels."

The pocketbook also offers indicators on the links between nutrition, health and the
environment, he said, noting that "readers, who can access the little book on their mobile devices through an application, can find data on food prices, food consumption, agriculture-related carbon emissions and land use, among others."

He also said that the small, pocket-sized print versions will be distributed to delegations
attending ICN2 so that they may compare country data during the conference and inform
policy-makers at home.

"We live in a world of plenty and it is remarkable how much more food agriculture has
produced over the past decades.

"But what is equally remarkable is that in this world of plenty, we still have 800 million
who don’t consume enough calories and 2 billion who don’t eat well – this is why this
conference is so important," Schmidhuber added.

Ms. Anna Lartey, Director of FAO’s Nutrition Division, however, warned that, "a country
that does not pay attention to the nutrition of its citizens will pay dearly in health costs
and loss of productivity and this can significantly reduce its economic development."

Ms. Lartey said the pocketbook data shows that while progress has been made in
reducing the percentage of hungry people globally, some two billion people are still
micro-nutrient deficient – meaning they lack the vitamins and minerals needed to lead
healthy and production lives.

"But, there has been an increase in food waste and obesity globally, which means the
world produces far more food than it needs, leaving deep resource footprints, in terms
of land and water use, carbon emissions, environmental degradation and other aspects
of food production," she stressed.

More than 100 ministers and representatives from civil society will gather 19-21
November at FAO headquarters in Rome for ICN2, where they will adopt the Rome
Declaration on Nutrition and a 60-point Framework of Action meant to guide national
policy commitments.

They are also expected to study outcome documents to be endorsed at the conference,
which will reportedly bind countries to take ten steps to translate their commitments
for nutrition into action. Their discussions are expected to feed into the work of the
conference.

Co-organized with the UN World Health Organization (WHO), ICN2 will bring together
relevant ministries, agencies, and organizations to identify priorities for enhanced
international cooperation on nutrition.

According to FAO, the global economy, food systems and the nutritional status of
populations have changed significantly since the first global conference on nutrition
in 1992.

The agency said a new policy framework and more appropriate responses are
needed, with now more than half the world’s population affected by malnutrition.
-0-  PANA  AA/AR 17Nov2014

17 november 2014 18:16:55




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