Gradually the nutrition & health agenda of most countries in the world are dominated by non-communicable diseases. In preparation of the UN Summit on NCDs at 27 September in New York, the UN calculated that half of the avoidable deaths caused by NCDs take place in middle-income countries. This shows the importance to accelerate the NCD prevention actions in these countries. In the last 5 years Choices has gradually shifted its focus from western countries to East-Asia and Africa.
Countries in these regions often have a complicated nutrition agenda. Next to the upcoming burden of NCDs, malnutrition and stunting are often persistent on an intolerably high level. Talking about healthier choices consequently means a choice that takes both NCDs and malnutrition into consideration. The Choices Board and the International Scientific Committee therefore recently decided to broaden their nutrition agenda and to include malnutrition as well. This inclusion should take place primarily on a national level, by aligning with the national nutrition agenda. The national adaptation of the international criteria, that should take place at the start of a new national Choices program, is an excellent opportunity to include this broader nutrition agenda if necessary.
By doing so, Choices embarks on a complicated learning journey and invites experts in this field to share their views and experiences.