Global Health Series – Part 1: Nutrition for Global Health Introduction

At medical school, if we focus on nutrition it would be in a developed setting but nutrition is a key area of concern globally. In 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were established by the UN with specific targets aimed at ending poverty and protecting the planet by 2030 – nutrition remains key to achieving many of these goals.[1]

A growing concern globally, especially in South East Asia is the double burden of malnutrition characterised, by the coexistence of undernutrition, along with obesity or diet-related non communicable diseases, largely due to changes in diet composition to more processed foods regarded as the ‘Nutrition Transition’.[2] Malnutrition needs to be addressed in order for SDG 2, which aims to ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition globally’ to be achieved.[3]

Diet related non – communicable diseases, such as Diabetes are very relatable to the UK; this non communicable disease is now dramatically increasing in prevalence in in low, and particularly middle-income countries where previously healthcare pressures have been predominantly focussed on tackling infectious disease, this adds a new dimension to health management, requiring a greater emphasis on primary, secondary prevention and continued health monitoring.

This gives a little introduction into nutrition for global health with more blog posts to follow!


2.Binns C, Kyung Lee M, Yun Low W, Zerfas A. The Role of Public Health Nutrition in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Asia Pacific Region. Asia Pacific J Public Heal [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 14];29(7):617–24. Available from:

3.WHO | 2. The double burden of diseases in [Internet]. [cited 2019 Nov 14]. Available from:

4.Goal 2: Zero Hunger – United Nations Sustainable Development [Internet]. [cited 2019 Nov 14]. Available from:



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