To accelerate progress in tackling malnutrition, adequate food, health, and care must be ensured throughout the lifecycle. Good nutrition during pregnancy reduces the likelihood of low birth weight and improves pregnancy outcomes. Promotion of growth and development in the young infant and child leads to a well-nourished school-aged child who can participate fully in the educational process. Good nutrition during adolescence, especially for girls, is important for their growth, development, and wellbeing, and eventually for their childrens.
This report presents a collection of papers discussed at the 25th Session of the United Nations Sub-Committee on Nutrition, held March 30 to 2 April, 1998, in Oslo, Norway. This report provides new analysis and thinking from both nutrition research and practice. It is meant to stimulate discussion and inform policy setting. The intended audience is a broad constituency of professionals concerned with development, for which nutrition is an indicator of achievement and a central aim.
The ACC/SCN is most grateful to the Government of Norway for hosting its 25th Session and to the Norwegian National Nutrition Council, especially Dr Gunn-Elin Aa. Bjørneboe, Arnhild-Haga Rimestad and Bodil Blaker who collaborated on the general organisation and local logistics of all the associated Session meetings. This was the first time that an SCN Session was hosted by a donor government. The subject of the symposium, held traditionally on the first day of the Session, was Challenges for the 21st Century: A Gender Perspective on Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. We are indebted to the Honorary Chair and keynote speaker of the symposium, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, now Director-General of the World Health Organization. She was assisted in this task by Professor Kaare Norum, then Director of the Institute for Nutrition Research in Oslo (now Rector of the University of Oslo), and a member of the SCNs Commission on the Nutrition Challenges for the 21st Century. In addition, we thank Dr Hilde Frafjord Johnson, Minister of International Development and Human Rights in Norway; Professor Philip James, Chair of the SCNs Commission and Director of the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen; Suttilak Smitasiri, Mahidol University, Thailand; Per Pinstrup-Andersen, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC; and Alan Lopez of WHO. Our grateful thanks to Ms Isatou Jallow Semega-Janneh of the Gambian Ministry of Health who gave a most lively and stimulating Second Abraham Horwitz Lecture.
Lindsay Barrett provided the cover illustration. Cathy Needham served as rapporteur for the Symposium. This report was edited by Cathy Needham and Sonya Rabeneck. We are grateful to Arne Oshaug and Gerd Holmboe-Ottesen for taking the initiative to welcome the SCN to Oslo and in generating such enthusiastic support for the work of the SCN in Norway.
Funding received from the Government of Norway, Government of the Netherlands, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been used towards the printing and distribution of this publication, and is most gratefully acknowledged.