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Greater Emphasis On Nutritional Security, Contributing Public Health Factors Needed To Address Obesity, Malnutrition

The Diplomat: The Nutritional Security Imperative
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chair of the board of Nestlé, and Asit K. Biswas, distinguished visiting professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

“…There are two important aspects of nutritional security: obesity and malnutrition. … The problems in the developing world are not only because of malnutrition, gender discrimination, poor health education, and literacy, they also reflect other public health factors. For example, open defecation is still widely practiced in many countries [and can lead to diseases that inhibit nutrient absorption]. … A commonly held — and erroneous — view has been food security is the main, or even the sole cause, of malnutrition. … Countries need to give proper emphasis to nutrition security based on observed facts and analyses. In most developing countries, progress in achieving nutritional security has been slow because of misconceptions, gender discrimination, corruption, taboos, and national pride. No country can reach its full potential if the bodies and minds of its young people are stunted because of a lack of nutrients” (10/20).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.