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Malnutrition is the manifestation of the inadequate or improper nutrition. The co-existence of under and over nutrition within the population is termed as dual burden of malnutrition. The emergence of the dual burden is a result of the nutrition transition along with epidemiological transition is underway in the populations. This phenomenon is not limited to upper-income developing countries, but is occurring across the globe in countries with very different cultures and dietary customs. Stuffed and starved both the extremes are responsible for dual burden paradox of under nutrition and obesity. Under nutrition and over nutrition co-exist in developing countries undergoing rapid nutrition transition, and women are susceptible to this double burden of "dysnutrition" often cumulating stunting or micronutrient malnutrition with obesity or other nutrition-related chronic diseases. Improving women's resources, including health, nutrition, education, and decisional power, is critical for equity and for the health of children and adults of future generations, since poor fetal and infancy nutrition is another risk factor for chronic diseases, in particular abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Addressing malnutrition and nutrition-related chronic diseases simultaneously is a challenge facing developing countries, and examples of promising initiatives are provided. Focusing on women along the lifecycle, according to the continuum of care approach, is essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty, malnutrition, and ill-health.
Rosane Cavalcante Fragoso, Brasil
Chief Scientific Officer and Head of a Research Group
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