2021 Global Nutrition Report: The State of Global Nutrition

Development Initiatives Poverty Research
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

"Ending poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms is a goal that is intrinsically linked with some of the world’s most pressing challenges."

The 2021 Global Nutrition Report (GNR) offers the world’s most comprehensive picture of the state of global nutrition and assesses the scale of the challenges faced in the fight to tackle poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms. This year’s report provides a concise data-focused update on the state of diets and nutrition around the world, which will be released annually thereafter. Independent analysis of the best data on nutrition is critical for evidence-based, timely and effective actions to ensure we deliver on our global commitment to end poor diets and malnutrition. This is an intentional shift from the GNR’s tradition of exploring specific themes in depth, which will also continue as needed to assess timely global issues of importance to nutrition.

The report’s findings lay bare the unsustainability of the status quo and how we continue to face a global nutrition crisis. Poor diets and resulting malnutrition in all its forms are unacceptably high across the world, creating one of the world’s greatest current societal challenges. The need for bolder, sustained and better coordinated action on nutrition that goes far beyond the nutrition community has never been greater. When accounting for the vast and interconnected health, economic and environmental burdens, this global nutrition crisis is a reality we can no longer afford to ignore.

Here is an overview:

Executive Summary: The 2021 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.

Chapter 1: A world free from malnutrition: An assessment of progress towards the global nutrition targets. At the current rate of progress, the global nutrition targets will not be achieved by 2025. We assess performance against the targets, examine how the Covid-19 pandemic is further impeding progress, and pose some of the short- and long-term responses urgently needed to bring the world back on track.

Chapter 2: What we eat matters: Health and environmental impacts of diets worldwide. Diets affect both human and planetary health, with a quarter of all adult deaths attributable to poor diets, and current food demand responsible for more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions. This chapter presents new estimates of the associated health and environmental impacts of our diets today.

Chapter 3: More money for nutrition, more nutrition for the money: Financing nutrition. Current financing challenges, exacerbated by the economic downturn triggered by Covid-19, threaten to increase malnutrition. We examine the global resourcing needs, and collective effort required of stakeholders to address malnutrition and build human capital, to raise more financing and to deliver more impact with the money we have.

Chapter 4: From promise to action: Progress towards the 2013 and 2017 Nutrition for Growth commitments.This chapter assesses progress towards the 2013 and 2017 Nutrition for Growth commitment goals and examines the alignment of the N4G commitment goals with the global nutrition targets. We also present findings on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on stakeholders’ ability to achieve their commitment goals in 2020.

The report is also available in French and Spanish.


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This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed