Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Better nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity.
Healthy children learn better. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.
Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health. Today the world faces a double burden of malnutrition that includes both undernutrition and overweight, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
WHO is providing scientific advice and decision-making tools that can help countries take action to address all forms of malnutrition to support health and wellbeing for all, at all ages.
This fact file explores the risks posed by all forms of malnutrition, starting from the earliest stages of development, and the responses that the health system can give directly and through its influence on other sectors, particularly the food system.