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Economic effects of the double burden of malnutrition

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Rachel Nugent
Virtual Event - The New Nutrition Reality: Time to Recognize and Tackle the Double Burden of Malnutrition!
DEC 1, 2020 - 09:30 AM TO 11:15 AM EST

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Economic effects of the double burden of malnutrition

  1. 1. Economic effects of the double burden of malnutrition Rachel Nugent Vice President, Director, Center for Global NCDs RTI International 1 December 2020
  2. 2. Purpose of Lancet Series Article #4  Present the challenges of using existing economic models of malnutrition to estimate impact of DBM o No models exist that incorporate undernutrition and obesity with data for common outcomes  Demonstrate the potential to assess economic costs and benefits of DBM interventions with an example
  3. 3. Methodology BMI=body-mass index, NCDs=non-communicable diseases. *Other positive outcomes result from the intervention (eg, school feeding programmes lead to higher school attendance and health-care savings from avoiding obesity)
  4. 4. Methodology for illustrating impacts of a double-duty intervention  Measured stunting and BMI changes in school children receiving school breakfast o Jamaica: Measured height change in cm among 407 2nd-5th grade students o USA: Measured BMI change for children between grades 1-12  Simulated the impact of the intervention on those outcomes for 4- 5 year olds in Guatemala, Indonesia, and Nigeria for which we had stunting and obesity data o Chose this age range because of a lack of availability of data for stunting in older children  Obtained cost of school breakfast programs from multi-country study (Gelli and Daryanani, 2013)
  5. 5. Paper provides two types of findings  Assesses existing models for suitability to measure DBM’s economic impacts o When measuring stunting, current models generally present findings in terms of GDP loss or benefit-cost ratios o When measuring obesity, current models generally focus on cost-of-illness from obesity and related diseases o There are no existing models that address DBM with full distal and proximal risk factors  Estimates the economic impact of an illustrative DBM intervention o Economic benefits of school breakfast program to address DBM outweigh costs in a simulation using data from kids who are 4-5 years old in Guatemala, Indonesia, and Nigeria o 54% of the economic benefits are associated with avoiding stunting and 46% of benefit value associated with avoided obesity
  6. 6. Conclusions – to make the case for investment in preventing DBM  Need to find a standardized definition of DBM at each level of society where we wish to measure economic impacts o Identify a small number of outcomes that can be meaningfully applied to multiple populations over time (Example: BMI)  Recommended steps o Validate modeling tools that can project trends in undernutrition and obesity for same age groups and time scales o Identify cost-effective double duty interventions o Identify countries rich with epidemiological, health, agriculture, nutrition, and demographic data in order to populate and validate models