Fueling Our Development

Nutrition is a critical part of population health and human development. Better nutritional status has been shown to improve infant, child, maternal and aging health, stronger immune system and response, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (ie. Gastrointestinal, endocrine and cardiovascular disease), and longevity. Populations with supportive nutritional leads more productive live and can create opportunities to potentially break the cycles of poverty, hunger and inequity.

Malnutrition substantially threatens population health. Today, the word is facing multi-fold burden of malnutrition (both undernutrition and overnutrition-overweight/obesity), especially in low- and middle-income countries. The developmental, social, economic and health impact of global burden of malnutrition are serious and lasting for individuals, families, communities and countries.

World Health Organization and UNICEF and World Bank estimates that 149 million children’s growth were stunted globally in 2020. Center for Strategic and International Studies estimate that there are 821 million people experience undernutrition, 1.9 billion people (41 million children) experience overweight or obesity, and 2 billion people experience micronutrient deficiency. Worldwide, malnutrition cost $3.5 trillion annually, with overweight and obesity related disease, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, adding additional $2 trillion.

Recognizing these issues, the global dietary supplement market size was valued at $152 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at the annual rate of ~9% from 2022-2030. Vitamin as a key ingredient dominated the dietary supplement market and accounted for almost 31% of the revenue in 2021. At the same time, there are many myths regarding nutritional supplementation; ranging from olive oil, red wine, diet soda, vitamin E, Ginseng, etc. These markets heavily rely of psychological impact and placebo effect to influence buyers. Often, when improperly ingested, many of these supplements create potential harms to human and population health.

At IPHS, we aim to work with research, community, clinical and policy partners to: synthesize the evidence based and non-evidence based practices; dispel myths associated these common practices through causal based inference methodologies; and disseminate these knowledge to broader community level to enable individuals, families and communities to have a guided discussion with their health providers, order to inform better population health practice and policy.