Global Nutrition Report

| July 6, 2020

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Although the 2020 Global Nutrition Report was written before the current coronavirus pandemic, its emphasis on nutritional well-being for all, particularly the most vulnerable, has a heightened significance in the face of this new global threat. The need for more equitable, resilient, and sustainable food and health systems has never been more urgent.

Here are some key messages about COVID-19 and nutrition:

  • COVID-19 does not treat us equally. Undernourished people have weaker immune systems, and may be at greater risk of severe illness due to the virus. At the same time, poor metabolic health, including obesity and diabetes, is strongly linked to worse COVID-19 outcomes, including risk of hospitalization and death.
  • COVID-19 exposes the vulnerability and weaknesses of our already fragile food systems. It has tested our food systems, already stressed by increasing climate extremes.
  • COVID-19 exposes deadly healthcare disparities. Transformed and strengthened health systems must focus on delivering preventive nutrition and health services and be ready to respond to crises. They should also be enhanced to address challenges faced by specific populations.
  • The way forward: strengthened coordination, alignment, financing, and accountability. We are only just beginning to feel the full range of disruptions to health service delivery, food supply chains, economies, and livelihoods as a result of the virus.

This Global Nutrition Report has six sections:

  • Introduction: Towards global nutrition equity
  • Inequalities in the global burden of malnutrition
  • Mainstreaming nutrition within universal health coverage
  • Food systems and nutrition equity
  • Equitable financing for nutrition
  • Ensuring equitable nutrition: a collective responsibility

The 2020 Global Nutrition Report looks beyond global and national patterns, revealing significant inequalities in nutrition outcomes within countries and populations. Find out more information by searching for your country’s profile:

The report is available in English:

Read the executive summary in French: