The department

Malnutrition, in any form, presents significant threats to human health. Undernutrition contributes to about one third of all child deaths. Growing rates of overweight and obesity worldwide are associated with a rise in chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The World Health Assembly has adopted a Comprehensive Implementation Plan to achieve six global nutrition targets through direct nutrition interventions and multisectoral actions in the food system, education and social protection: reducing low birth weight; stunting, wasting and overweight in children; and anaemia in women by 2025.

The WHO Department of Nutrition for Health and Development is

  • developing guidance on population dietary goals and evidence informed policies and programmes;
  • disseminating and advocating for the adoption of evidence-informed policies and programmes and support country adaptation;
  • monitoring global trends in nutrition and supporting surveillance in countries.

The department is organized into three areas of work

  • Growth assessment and surveillance (GRS)
  • Evidence and programme guidance (EPG)
  • Nutrition policy and scientific advice (NPU)
NHD organigram 2013 small