The double burden of malnutrition (DBM) is becoming more prevalent throughout the world, but most alarming is the fact that it is also prevalent in lower-income countries, those with limited research and policy funding. To that end, a number of research gaps have been identified related to the biology, research methodologies/data systems, and programs and policies that could be improved to best address the DBM across the globe, especially in diverse settings with limited resources. Clearly, understanding the biology of the DBM is fundamental to developing policies, but research needs to become more interdisciplinary and communicate better with policymakers. At the same time, research methods need to become more innovative, and data systems must advance to accommodate new research methods and approaches. Filling these gaps will allow for broad and effective policies to be implemented through both public and private groups, an area that could be leveraged through transparent public-private engagement and programs. Without novel and integrated approaches to research, efforts to reverse the DBM will be limited. Therefore, the time has come for truly cooperative and collaborative efforts on all fronts to work together and promote the health of future generations across the globe.

Haisma H, Pelto G, Venkatapuram S, Yousefzadeh S, Kramer L, Anand P, members of the Working Group “Towards a multi-dimensional index of child growth”: Towards a multi-dimensional index of child growth to combat the double burden of malnutrition. Ann Nutr Metab 2019. doi: 10.1159/000503670.
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