Why Nutrition Makes all the Difference

Poor diet can have devastating effects on human health, causing deficiency diseases in childhood. Also, common chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis all have nutritional correlations. (Photo: L. Davidsson/IAEA)

Nutrition affects everything.

A mother´s nutritional status before conception affects her foetus; and proper nutrition, or the lack of it, determines a person´s physical and mental capability from birth until death.

The IAEA is one of a number of organisations involved in researching nutrition and investigating the role it plays in human development and prospects for later life.

"The role of nuclear techniques, and stable isotope techniques in particular, is becoming increasingly important in the development and monitoring of interventions to combat malnutrition," says Werner Burkart, Deputy Director General for the IAEA´s Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications.

"While nuclear techniques have been used as research tools for many years, their application in the development and evaluation of large scale treatment is a relatively new approach."

"The IAEA has a unique role to play here, in particular as an international Agency in the United Nations family with a commitment to development," he says.

Other IAEA initiatives in this field include a new publication series on nutrition. The first book in the series - Assessment of Body Composition and Total Energy Expenditure in Humans Using Stable Isotope Techniques - is now available on our website.

Last update: 10 September 2014