Nutritional and Health-Related Environmental Studies Section

This Section enhances the capabilities of Member States to combat malnutrition in all its forms and supports effective, evidence-based nutrition programming using nuclear and related techniques. 

Good nutrition is the foundation of human wellbeing. Investing in good nutrition in early life can guarantee healthy child growth and lasting benefits at individual, societal and national levels. The IAEA’s activities in the field of nutrition aim to improve nutrition for better health throughout the life course.

The Section fosters the widespread use of nuclear techniques in Member States by supporting nutrition projects via the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme and Coordinated Research Activities. Nuclear techniques help improve the specificity, sensitivity and accuracy of nutritional evaluations. Specific applications include the assessment of body composition, bone mineral density, total daily energy expenditure, intake of human milk in breastfed infants, vitamin A status, and bioavailability of micronutrients and proteins from foods. They are also used to assess the health effects of environmental factors, such as environmental enteric dysfunction; and the influence of changes in dietary and physical activity patterns on the risk of overweight and obesity.

The Section’s activities are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those focusing on ending hunger and ensuring good health and wellbeing. It works in close collaboration with other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and other major players in nutrition and health to create synergies and complement ongoing research and programme evaluation activities, with the IAEA’s comparative advantage being the support of the use of nuclear techniques.

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