November 21, the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) wrapped up in Rome. ICN2 is the first major nutrition conference for 22 years, aiming to ensure the right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, and commits governments to preventing malnutrition in all its forms, including hunger, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity.
According to UNSCN, Malnutrition is one of the world’s most serious but least addressed health problems and a significant contributor to child mortality. Nearly one-third of children in developing countries are either underweight or stunted, and more than 30% of people living in developing countries suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Malnutrition undermines economic growth and perpetuates poverty, and its human costs are enormous.
In closing remarks to the Conference, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva said, “Malnutrition is the number one cause of disease in the world… If hunger were a contagious disease, we would have already cured it.”
The ICN2’s Framework for Action
recognizes that governments have the primary role and responsibility for addressing nutrition issues and challenges, in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders-including civil society, the private sector and affected communities. Building on the Declaration’s commitments, goals and targets, the Framework sets out 60 recommended actions that governments may incorporate into their national nutrition, health, agriculture, education, development and investment plans and consider when negotiating international agreements to achieve better nutrition for all.
On Universal Children’s Day, UNICEF Australia celebrated the things that matter to children with the release of a very special report, by children, for children and the adults who care and support them. To mark 25 years of child rights for every child, everywhere, UNICEF Australia asked Aussie kids about the world they live in, what’s important to them, what makes them feel safe, what they worry about, who they worry about and whether they feel included in the decisions that affect them. Click here to access the report and find out more.
Children and adolescents who ate foods high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and processed foods appear to experience more depression and low moods, suggests a new systematic research review in the American Journal of Public Health. The review found a signicant, cross-sectional relationship between unhealthy dietary patterns and poorer mental health in youth. Lead reviewer Adrienne O’Neil, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine at Deakin University in Australia, said, “The evidence that poor dietary intake could be a risk factor for mental health issues in both adults and children is only very new – much of the data has emerged over the past seven years – thus widespread recognition is lacking. This is slowly changing, however, with the emergence of societies such as the International Society of Nutritional Psychiatric Research and the Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders.” Find out more here.
In late 2013, the Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to inquire into childcare and early childhood learning. The inquiry highlighted the role played by grandparents in the provision of informal childcare. Far less visible, however, is the significant role and contribution of grandparents who take on the primary responsibility for raising their grandchildren. Click here to read the report, which focuses on the unmet support needs of grandparents who raise their grandchildren and how to address those needs.
While the world has never produced so much food, 842 million people are estimated to be suffering from chronic hunger and under-nourishment. Food production and nourishment relates to a range of topics including human rights, climate change, politics and health and is a problem that can be explored through many areas of the curriculum, from geography and citizenship to home economics and science.
So this week, to mark World Food Day on Thursday 16 October 2014, The Guardian has a generous helping of ideas and resources about food security and the challenges of feeding an ever-growing population. Click here to find out more.
The latest edition of the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ flagship journal Family Matters has been published. Family Matters No. 94: Families through a long lens presents a range of articles, including an examination of AIFS longitudinal studies, the role of Independent Children’s Lawyers and current attitudes to ageing.
Need for Feed is an extracurricular cooking and nutrition program from Diabetes Queensland for Years 7-10 students across the state. It aims to teach participants basic cooking skills and enhance their confidence to prepare and eat a variety of nutritious foods at home. Click here for information on how to take part.
National Nutrition Week runs from the 12th to the 19th of October this year. It aims to raise awareness of the role of food on our health, and to support the community to enjoy healthy eating. Click on the link above for details on the wide range of programs, including the National Nutrition Week Challenge.
On the 5th of November, CFCA will host the webinar Promoting Indigenous child health and wellbeing: “Get a piece of paper honey, no-one can take that away from you.” The presenters will provide an overview of Indigenous understandings of child health within the context of community, and discuss strengths-based, holistic and family-focussed approaches and strategies for promoting child safety within this framework. Click on the link above for more details and to register.
Two years ago, the UN declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.