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United Nations Identifies Next Ten Years as the Decade of Action on Nutrition

By John Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Chief Health and Nutrition Officer, Herbalife
May 10, 2016

On April 1, and fortunately it wasn’t an April fools joke, the United Nations General Assembly passed an important resolution proclaiming the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025.

The resolution focuses on various nutrition and public health goals, including eradicating hunger, obesity and malnutrition worldwide, and ensuring universal access to healthier and more sustainable diets.

Over the next decade, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) will work with nations to address undernourishment and micronutrient deficiencies. It also aims to reverse overweight and obesity and reduce non-communicable diseases in all age groups.

According to WHO, nearly 800 million people remain undernourished, over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies and 1.9 billion people are overweight or obese. The WHO Obesity and overweight fact sheet reveals that:

  • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and older were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese.
  • Most of the world’s populations live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.

The good news is that good nutrition and habits counter these conditions. Companies like Herbalife are addressing undernourishment by creating convenient, high quality, nutrient-dense meal replacement and snack products that contain beneficial protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and more.

And for the millions of otherwise healthy adults who struggle with overweight and obesity around the world, our products and meal plans are protein based, promote satiety, offer lower calorie content than other meal types, and are portion controlled (or come with specific serving size instructions) so consumers know exactly how many calories they are consuming. Monitoring macro nutrient intake plays an important role in weight management.

But nutrition products alone aren’t the whole solution. The best weight management programs that lead to lasting results are accompanied by one-on-one or group support. According to the American Psychology Association, “it’s easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support, can share tips on diet and exercise and have an exercise buddy.” This person-to-person support system is a centerpiece of the Herbalife direct selling model. When consumers purchase Herbalife® products they are automatically connected to our independent members who provide education, support and encouragement to help their customers as they work to achieve their nutrition, weight management and wellness goals. Herbalife helps build a community of fitness, healthy nutrition and wellness around its customers.

The challenges that need to be addressed in the Decade of Action on Nutrition are serious, but the with the combined efforts of governmental action and private sector partnership, we can turn the tide. Here at Herbalife we stand ready to partner and help lead the effort.

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