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Poor diets and resulting malnutrition continue to be unacceptably high, finds Global Nutrition Report 2021

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The 2021 Global Nutrition Report, launched today, Tuesday 23 November 2021, finds that, despite some progress, diets are not getting healthier and make increasing demands on the environment, while unacceptable levels of malnutrition persist. The high human, environmental and economic costs of continuing our current trajectory are so significant that we will pay a far higher price if we fail to act. While COVID-19 is exacerbating the problem, this report shows that it is just one part of a much bigger picture.

The Global Nutrition Report* sets out progress towards the global nutrition targets, evaluates the impact of poor diets on our health and our planet, assesses the nutrition financing landscape, and provides a comprehensive overview of reporting on past Nutrition for Growth (N4G) commitments.


  • At the current rate of progress, the global nutrition targets will not be achieved by 2025 globally and in most countries worldwide.
  • There is substantial variation in data availability and progress towards the global nutrition targets across 194 countries. Only seven countries are on track to meet four of the six maternal, infant and young child nutrition targets by 2025, while no country is ‘on track’ to halt the rise in adult obesity or achieve a 30% relative reduction in salt/sodium intake.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is impeding progress towards achieving the global nutrition targets. An estimated additional 155 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty globally, while people with diet-related chronic diseases experience worse COVID-19 outcomes.

The 2021 report’s findings lay bare how unsustainable the status quo is and how we continue to face a global nutrition crisis. The need for bolder, more sustained, and more coordinated action on nutrition, that must go far beyond the nutrition community, has never been greater.

Read the Executive Summary:

English | Français | Español

When accounting for the vast and largely interconnected health, economic and environmental burdens, this global nutrition crisis is a reality we can no longer afford to ignore.


  1. To meet global nutrition targets in most countries, we need greatly accelerated progress.
  2. Our diets are increasingly harming our health and the planet.
  3. The financial costs of addressing poor diets and malnutrition have risen while resources are falling, but the costs of inaction are far greater.
  4. Nutrition for Growth (N4G) tracking highlights challenges in delivering commitments and measuring progress.

We can achieve healthy and sustainable diets to end malnutrition and preserve our planet!

Based on this report’s findings, there are clear areas for action. The change needed is significant but not impossible, and the stakes are so high that we must now do whatever it takes. We recommend three key areas for action.

  1. There needs to be a step-change in efforts and financial investments to end poor diets and malnutrition and gain the high social and economic returns we know are possible.
  2. Poor diets and malnutrition can and should be addressed holistically and sustainably to create a healthy future for all.
  3. Better data, greater accountability and systematic monitoring are key to identifying the progress needed and ensuring we stay on track.
*The Global Nutrition Report is the world’s leading independent assessment of the state of global nutrition. It is data-led and produced each year to cast a light on progress and challenges. The report aims to inspire governments, donors, civil society organisations, businesses and others to act to end malnutrition in all its forms. It also plays the important role of holding stakeholders to account on their commitments towards tackling poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms.


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