Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Adequate food is vital in keeping people alive. Good nutrition is essential to good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. Nutrition impacts the development process at every stage of the life-cycle from conception to death. Freedom from hunger and malnutrition is a basic human right and their alleviation is a fundamental prerequisite for human and national development.
The countries of the Easter Mediterranean Region are divided into four groups according to nutrition situation analysis:
Countries in emergency and humanitarian crisis with severe child and maternal undernutrition and widespread micronutrient deficiencies. This group includes Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan.
Countries with significant undernutrition, particularly high levels of acute and chronic child malnutrition, widespread micronutrient deficiencies and emerging overweight and obesity in certain socioeconomic subgroups. This group includes Djibouti, Iraq, Pakistan, occupied Palestinian territory and Yemen.
Countries in an early nutritional transition stage characterized by moderate levels of overweight and obesity, moderate levels of undernutrition in specific population and age groups, and widespread micronutrient deficiencies. This group includes Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Countries in an advanced nutritional transition stage, with high levels of overweight and obesity, and moderate undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in some population subgroups. This group includes the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Tunisia.