Critical Public Health Consequences of the Double Burden of Malnutrition and the Changing Food Environment in South and South East Asia

25 Jan 2018

This 3 day International Conference will take place at the India International Centre, New Delhi 28-30 March, 2018

Background to the Conference

Countries in South and South East Asia have some of the highest levels of undernutrition. Simultaneously, the region is seeing a rapid transition to a new situation where it faces a ‘double burden of malnutrition’ whereby gains related to reduction in under-nutrition, are being undermined by an increase in overweight and obesity. Concomitant with both is a high degree of morbidity and mortality from communicable diseases such as TB, malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea associated with under-nutrition; and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease and strokes, associated with obesity.

There are common roots underlying both under and ‘over- nutrition’ in the globalized world. These include the impact on food systems of current agricultural practices, and practices related to food production, manufacture, distribution, trade and commerce; as well as to the power differentials between those who are most affected and those who benefit most from the current food system. The global trade regimes of WTO and the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have a profound impact on agricultural practices, as well as on food and nutrition security and food sovereignty. The unregulated penetration of food and beverage companies and the aggressive marketing of processed and ultra processed foods severly compound the problem of malnutrition.

Mega agribusiness conglomerates and transnational food and beverage corporations are also implicated in environmental degradation and climate change.There is growing evidence linking undernutrition in childhood with increased risk of obesity and non- communicable diseases in later life. The aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes has also led to a dramatic reduction in infants who are being exclusively breastfed in the region.

Conference Themes

Discussions at the conference will be organized in four sections:

1.    Opening Plenary: Situation analysis, including technicalpresentationsonlinksbetweenmalnutrition and the burden of disease.
2.    Section    on    Undernutrition:    Discussions    will    beorganized in plenary sessions and workshops that will run in parallel.
3.    Section on Overweight/Obesity: Discussions will beorganized in plenary sessions and workshops that will run in parallel include:

Themes/issues which will be covered in Sections 2 and 3
•    Laws and policies (including social protection) related to nutrition,
•    Food systems, land reform and access to land,
•    Agricultural policies, food production and processing and their impact,
•    The role and regulation of agribusiness, food and beverages corporations and corporations which promote breastmilk substitutes and infant formula.
•    Programmes, human resources, pharmaceutical issues and research in relation tonutrition.
•    Current challenges and positive actions to address them.
•    Technical (biomedical) issues related to nutrition and disease consequences.
•    Strategizing    around    advocacy    and    social    mobilization    on    issues    related    to malnutrition.

4.    Synthesis Plenary: This will distill and elaborate on the common themes emerging from and related to the structural and systemic causes of both undernutrition and overweight/obesity.

Specific objectives of the conference:
To  harness  evidence regarding the prevalence of  both  under  nutrition and  ‘over-nutrition’,  as well  as  the  associations between  nutrition  and disease,  policy  and programme responses.
To  catalyse  civil  society action  to  support c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d efforts  to  reshape  the food and nutrition policy landscape.
To  bring  together  global and  regional  policy makers,  academics, researchers,  nutrition advocates and activists.
To  support  development and  implementation  of policies and programmes that promote better public health, nutrition and the control of communicable and  non-communicable diseases

Participants will have the facility to make oral and poster presentations. These will be chosen from submitted abstracts/posters. Abstracts and poster presentations on the themes of conference can be sent by academicians, researchers, nutrition experts, and activists engaged in Nutrition and Public Health.
For all abstract submissions and queries, write to [email protected]

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