• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

International Symposium on Understanding the Double Burden of Malnutrition for Effective Interventions

10–13 December 2018, Vienna, Austria

Symposium on Understanding the Double Burden of Malnutrition 2018

This symposium is organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Our live stream audience can interact too. Please download the conference app and post your questions in the Q&A.

The double burden of malnutrition (DBM) affects at least a quarter of all countries worldwide, with low and middle income countries bearing the greatest burden due to lack of capacity to tackle the problem. DBM connotes a complex situation where food insecurity, micronutrient deficiencies, undernutrition and infectious diseases, as well as overweight, obesity and related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) coexist in countries, communities and households, and even in the same individual.


The symposium will be livestreamed and recorded. Those who use the livestreaming will be able to participate actively through the Q&A feature in the IAEA Conferences and Meetings App. A link to the video streaming service will be provided on the opening day.


The purpose of the symposium is to strengthen understanding of how to tackle the DBM by sharing recent research findings as well as experiences with the implementation of relevant interventions, programmes and policies. The symposium will, in particular, highlight the role of stable isotopes in addressing gaps both in the measurement of malnutrition and in assessing the impact of interventions. The symposium aims to identify double-duty actions, new assessment tools, considerations for policies and action plans to support Member States in achieving their defined nutrition commitments within the Nutrition Decade.

The symposium will provide a forum to:

  • Estimate and explore the global magnitude of the DBM.
  • Share evidence on biological pathways through which early nutrition influences NCDs.
  • Identify the role of stable isotope techniques and new tools in assessing the DBM.
  • Review the effectiveness of existing double-duty actions.
  • Review efforts that have been undertaken so far to create nutrition-enabling environments.
  • Define knowledge gaps and research needs.
  • Recommend double-duty actions.
  • Discuss considerations for the design of contextually relevant policies.


The symposium will cover five thematic areas:

  • Epidemiology - Prevalence, causes and consequences of the DBM.
  • Biology - Biological mechanisms contributing to the DBM.
  • Assessment - How to assess the DBM in individuals and populations.
  • Interventions - From biology to interventions targeting the DBM.
  • Policy implications - From biology to policies addressing the DBM.


The symposium aims to bring together a broad range of stakeholders including UN organisations, policy makers, researchers, health professionals, NGOs and civil society.

Key Deadlines

  • 27 May 2018: Extended online submission of abstracts (INDICO).
    Submission of participation and abstract forms and grant applications (Forms A, B, C).
  • 30 June 2018: Notification of acceptance of abstracts.

Registration only (Submission of Form A through a competent national authority) is not subject to a deadline.


All persons wishing to participate in the symposium are requested to register in advance using the On-line Pre-Registration form available on the right hand side located under Related Resources.

There is no registration fee to attend this symposium.

As a next step, please complete the relevant form(s) available on the conference website and send them to one of the competent authorities in your country (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or National Atomic Energy Authority) for onward transmission to the IAEA. Should you be unsure of who these are, please send an email to DBMal2018@iaea.org.

More detailed information

Please see the Announcement and Call for Papers under Related resources.


To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, the IAEA will organize this conference as a 'green meeting' according to the guidelines of the Austrian Ecolabel. This means that the IAEA will keep the ecological impact of the Conference as low as possible. The Vienna International Centre is already a workplace that is powered by carbon neutral electricity from 100% renewable sources. There will be a focus on the areas of paper smart documentation, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally friendly catering.

The IAEA as organizer will contribute to making the Conference a Green Meeting. Delegates can have a role in this endeavour and are encouraged to choose environmentally friendly options when planning their participation. Small actions can make a big difference: choosing environmentally certified accommodation, giving feedback via the IAEA Conference and Meetings app, sorting waste for recycling, and returning name badges - these will all help to reduce the environmental impact. Information on how to effectively contribute to climate protection, both locally and globally can be found here

Vienna has an efficient network of public transport - buses, trains, trams and underground lines - that covers most of the city. The IAEA encourages participants to make full use of these greener modes of transportation.

Conference app

The IAEA Conferences and Meetings App provides a one-stop access to information on the Conference and  exhibitions. The app also allows users to put together their own personalized schedule of events. Via this app participants will be able to view contributed papers and the latest conference programme, message other participants, and view PowerPoint presentations released after the event. Participants will receive an email inviting them to register for the app approximately one week before the conference.

For iPhone or iPad users, get your free download through the Apple iTunes Store; those with Android devices can visit the Google Play Store.

Stay in touch