Research Article

Nutrition challenges for the twenty-first century

Alan D. Dangoura1 c1 and Ricardo Uauya1a2

a1 Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Research Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

a2 Public Health Nutrition Division, Instituto Nutrición y Tecnología de Alimentos, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile


Although progress has been made towards international goals for the eradication of hunger and malnutrition, considerable work is still required to achieve them and to respond to emerging public health nutrition challenges. The present paper outlines sixteen major inter-linked nutrition challenges recently identified by the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition. While many of the challenges relate to the nutritional needs of children and mothers, an increased emphasis on nutrition-related chronic diseases that affect later life is also evident. Promoting healthy ageing and the maintenance of physical and mental function in older age are undoubtedly major challenges for the future, and the present paper also informs on the role of nutrition, specifically n-3 essential fatty acids, in the prevention of cognitive decline. The importance of determining the cost-effectiveness of nutrition interventions is advocated, in order that the nutrition community can respond appropriately to global nutrition challenges.


c1 *Corresponding author: Alan D. Dangour, fax +44 207 958 8111, email