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Double burden of malnutrition, sight and lifeThe double burden of malnutrition (DBM) is an epidemic that has, and continues to, impact the lives of millions of people worldwide. In response to the increasing burden on populations, and to move the DBM agenda forward, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) organized the International Symposium on ‘Understanding the Double Burden of Malnutrition for Effective Interventions’, within the context of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025.

This event attracted representatives from over 90 countries worldwide and spurred global action to tackle this growing problem. The resources highlighting key conclusions and outlining ways to reduce the DBM were identified during the symposium are now available. These resources include 1) the symposium report which provides a general overview of all sessions and side events, 2) a brochure outlining key opportunities to reduce the DBM and 3) the symposium proceedings published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism.

The proceedings of thirteen papers highlight the preconception period and the first 1,000 days of life, accurate assessment of different aspects of the DBM, regional examples of programmes and policies, ways to bridge from biology to implementation and indicate research gaps.

During the symposium, Klaus Kraemer presented at the panel session on “Bridging the evidence – how to strengthen the link between biology and implementation for sustainable action?” which served as the basis for a publication in the symposium proceedings published as special issue in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. Sight and Life also organised a 2-hour working group on harnessing public and private sector engagement for improved nutrition (in all forms) and can read about the details here on the Sight and Life blog or a review on the workshop can be found here on page 29. Additionally, the Sight and Life magazine focused on the double burden of malnutrition can be found here

For more information including the recorded livestream consult the symposium website, or contact us at for any questions or feedback.

Opening session of the International Symposium on the Double Burden of Malnutrition. Photo credit: Dean Calma, IAEA
Participants collecting information on the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme. Photo credit: IAEA
Participants discussing new research at the poster sessions. Photo credit: IAEA