Adolescent nutrition: policy and programming in SUN+ countries

Adolescent nutrition: policy and programming in SUN+ countries

Adolescents are a neglected group in terms of nutrition. In some countries up to a half of adolescents are malnourished. Yet optimal nutrition during adolescence – a period of rapid physical growth – is crucial.

 Urgent action is needed to address adolescent malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries. And given the high numbers of adolescent girls who give birth and of girls under 18 who get married, it is imperative that – in order to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition – nutrition interventions target adolescent girls.

This report presents what is being done in Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) countries and in India to address adolescent nutrition through policy and practice. It also sets out roles and responsibilities for adolescent nutrition at the ministerial and agency levels.

It goes on to describe promising interventions to address adolescent nutrition. It explores policies and programmes directly aimed at adolescent nutrition as well as those designed to improve it indirectly, as one of a number of other intended impacts.

Adolescent Nutrition is targeted at ministers in SUN countries who are responsible for the welfare of adolescent girls, senior officials in the United Nations and international agencies, programme implementers and policy-makers in SUN+ countries, and officials in donor governments and agencies. It presents a series of recommendations to bring about urgent and much needed improvements in adolescent nutrition.