Nourishing millions: Stories of change in nutrition

by Stuart Gillespie, Judith Hodge, Sivan Yosef, and Rajul Pandya-Lorch ()

Book cover Nourishing Millions

July 15, 2016

This important new book, available as a free download on the IFPRI website, is a wonderful introduction to the issues involved in improving nutrition for poorly nourished people throughout the world.

The first chapter gives an overview of nutrition progress, both in programs and results, over the last 50 years.

The first section of the book discusses in separate chapters four key areas: community nutrition programming,  the importance of infant and young child feeding (the first 1000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday), improving access to micronutrients, and undertaking community solutions to severe malnutrition.

The second section looks also covers four topics:  How agriculture can contribute to nutrition (they have typically proceeded on different tracks); the role of family income programs, which have been rather widely adopted, in reducing  malnutrition and promoting other  favorable outcomes such as greater school attendance;  the role of clean water and good sanitation in improving nutrition, and finally, obesity and its challenges.

The third section looks at eight country programs where progress has been made (Thailand, Brazil, Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Odisha, India) detailing their different approaches.

The final two chapters look at the future of nutrition action and what it might hold.

The book does an excellent job of describing the efforts to improve nutrition over the last 50 years and gives a good overview of the direction which these efforts have taken.  It can be read by people at various levels of knowledge from nutrition professionals to students.  The book is available for download at

There are also classroom discussion questions (and Powerpoint slides) which can be accessed here.

Lane Vanderslice is the Editor of Hunger Notes