Food shopping in Alausi, Ecuador © Nina Renshaw, NCD Alliance

World Food Day: fixing food systems for healthy diets for all

16th October 2019

Geneva, 16 October 2019 - Today on World Food Day, NCD Alliance commends increasing efforts from international organisations, including UNICEFOECDFAO and WHO, to respond to the changing profile of malnutrition and hunger. 

Newly released figures including those published by UNICEF and OECD make painfully clear that all parts of the world face multiple forms of malnutrition, having failed to address age old challenges of hunger and undernutrition, but also having enabled a rise of overweight and obesity. For too long the development community has focused on undernutrition in isolation, but this World Food Day marks a step change in prioritising all forms of malnutrition and recognising the necessity of systemic reform of food environments. 

In the midst of the Decade of Action on Nutrition and in advance of the 2020 Nutrition for Growth Summit in Japan, it is crucial that international agencies and organisations continue to elevate the profile and priority of increasingly concerning forms of malnutrition which have chronic and life-changing implications. 

Without urgent attention to diet, the leading risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), millions more people will be affected by diet-related conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancers, diabetes, dementia and mental health conditions which require long term support, care and treatment.

This World Food Day, we urge all stakeholders to take the theme of this year’s World Food Day, “Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World,” beyond 16 October. 

Nourishing all people must optimise environmental sustainability, enhance quality of life, and improve and protect health and economic development for all countries. 

We can no longer afford to focus only on feeding the world’s people with scant regard to the long term health costs of dysfunctional food systems.