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Poor diets drive malnutrition during childhood and adolescence. Today, millions of children are eating too little of what they need, and millions are eating too much of what they don’t need: poor diets are now the main risk factor for the global burden of disease. Food systems are critical to delivering healthy, affordable, and sustainable diets to meet the nutritional needs of children and adolescents,yet our current systems are failing children.
The UN Secretary-General has called for a United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) to launch bold new actions to transform the food systems and support environmental sustainability. Far too often, the interests of a very important group of people are left out of food systems analysis – children. This is a dangerous omission. UNICEF’s Executive Director has committed to lead Food Systems Dialogues (FSDs) with school-age children and adolescents (10-19 years old) in at least 20 countries worldwide.