Trends in and prospects for the double malnutrition burden among adolescents in China, India and Nepal

November 2018: Jasmine Fledderjohann and Yang Hu have been successful in obtaining a grant for the N8 pump prime project entitled 'Trends in and prospects for the double malnutrition burden among adolescents in China, India and Nepal'.

Rapid yet uneven socioeconomic development in India, China and Nepal has led to staggering socioeconomic disparities. This inequality is taking a toll, in part through the rise of a global public health hazard: The double malnutrition burden places an unprecedented strain on the national governments, families and schools to provide consistent access to healthy food to adolescents. This is a critical concern not only because more than half of the world’s adolescents live in Asia, but also because adolescents have not finished growing and developing; malnutrition in this critical developmental period can have lasting effects across the life-course, with broader implications for compounding inequalities and stymying productivity and future economic growth. Addressing this double burden among adolescents speaks directly to the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda. Despite this, adolescents are often overlooked in research on nutrition, which focuses overwhelmingly on mothers and young children.  

Instead of treating families and schools — two major institutions that shape adolescents’ nutrition patterns—in isolation, we focus on the interface and coordination between the two to understand fully and tackle the double burden. Our project will facilitate comparative policy-learning between the three countries and explore innovative interventions to tackle the double malnutrition burden through research collaboration, knowledge exchange, and co-production with key stakeholders. The proposed work will bring together policymakers, NGOs, educators, and community groups from the three countries to tackle a pressing public health crisis resulting from growing socioeconomic inequality due to the rapid yet uneven socioeconomic development in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). 

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