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For schoolchildren and adolescents, healthy diets are essential to grow, develop and be protected from disease.

But worldwide, 149 million children under the age of five are too small for their age. 40 million are overweight. Many millions are suffering from deficiencies of key nutrients. Many of these children are carrying over their nutritional problems into school age which affects their capacity to learn and overall development. Addressing malnutrition is central to improving individual development and well-being, advancing the overall economic and social development of families and communities and ensuring the Right to Food for vulnerable people.

Likewise, the current environmental and socioeconomic issues around the world are threatening the very existence of future generations and can’t be ignored or separated from the efforts to address malnutrition.Let’s look at the pathways towards improving nutrition and promoting more sustainable food practices for schoolchildren and adolescents and see what FAO and partners are doing to support these pathways around the world.

To visit the page, click: FAO Class in session- Healthy and sustainable food pathways for schoolchildren

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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of families around the world. Across virtually every key measure of childhood, progress has gone backward in the 12 months since the pandemic was declared, leaving children confronting a devastating and distorted new normal.

The past year has seen an increase in children who have been left hungry, isolated, abused and anxious. The education of hundreds of millions of children has been disrupted. Access to protection services and health services – including routine vaccinations – has been severely impacted. The pandemic is also affecting young people’s mental health and pushing their families into poverty. Such social and economic disruptions can increase the likelihood of child marriage.

Even as remarkable, life-saving progress is made in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, the latest available data from UNICEF reveal the devastation already wrought on the world’s children:

To read the article: How the COVID-19 pandemic has scarred the world’s children

 

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In late July, following considerable interest and reporting on the relationship between obesity and COVID-19, the UK Government released a policy paper:

‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’

As a group of nutrition researchers, educators and clinicians, we recognise the complexity which spans diet, nutrition and health interfacing with diverse domains such as the social sciences, economics and politics on one hand as well as genetics and biomedical sciences on the other. We also recognise the complexities associated with obesity and weight loss. Therefore, we advocate for the appreciation and adoption of a wider, complete understanding of the science behind obesity and the strategies which are needed to address it.

In its' response to the UK Government policy paper on obesity, NNEdPro discussed four points of the proposed obesity strategy and provide recommendations for a more comprehensive and impactful response.

Read full NNEdPro response.

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