HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has committed to reducing stunted growth among children under-five and to control obesity among all children, at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021.
Hosted by the Government of Japan, the summit was held virtually in Tokyo, Japan, on December 7 and 8, with the participation of delegates from over 100 countries.
“Việt Nam commits to reducing stunting among children under five years old with priority given to disadvantaged areas and the ethnic minority communities. Việt Nam also commits to controlling [the rate of] overweight and obese children,” said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn.
Sơn said that nutrition was one of the priority health issues and an important indicator in the socio-economic development plan of Việt Nam.
“Nutrition has always been one of the priority health issues in the Viet Nam’s Party Resolution and a key indicator in the national socio-economic development plans and the National Strategy on Nutrition for the period 2021-30,” said Sơn.
To realise the two goals, Sơn said Việt Nam had been developing action programmes associated with commitments on policy, budget, implementation and monitoring.
At the event, delegates reaffirmed their commitments to the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets 2025, the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They also committed to taking further action on nutrition across five thematic areas: health, food, resilience, accountability and financing to end malnutrition in all forms by 2030 as part of the SDGs agenda.
The summit is an opportunity for member countries and participants working together to step up efforts to end malnutrition and to join forces to achieve equitable access to healthy diets and improved nutrition.
The summit includes thematic discussions on health, food, resilience, finance and accountability, and aims to lead global agendas for improving malnutrition and reacting to global measures, as well as by compiling financial and policy commitments in the field of nutrition.
Việt Nam and many countries in the world have faced a triple burden of nutrition, overweight children, and micronutrient deficiencies. The country’s stunting rate among children under 5 was at 19.6 per cent, while the obesity rate was 19 per cent by the end of 2020, according to the National General Nutrition Survey for 2019-20.
Globally, more than 149 million children are stunted, and 20 million babies are born with low birth weight. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of nearly half of childhood deaths.
At the same time, being overweight and obese among adults, adolescents and children is rising to record levels – affecting 2 billion people globally of which 70 per cent live in low- and middle-income countries. Such conditions are associated with diet-related diseases, including non-communicable diseases. — VNS