In this section
The 2016 report of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent
Health and Wellbeing was published shortly after the launch of the Global
Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, and became a focal
point for global discussions around adolescent health evidence and gaps. It
presented a comprehensive and integrated perspective on adolescent health
needs, together with a synthesis of existing evidence on effective responses.
The Commission made six recommendations around better
tracking of health needs, promotion of more effective health service system and
inter-sectoral responses, and ensuring the development of frameworks for
accountability that included the participation and engagement of young people
The Lancet proposed a Standing Commission, with the
Current initiatives include a Lancet series on adolescent nutrition (2021), analyses of future NCD risks (2022), analyses of injury
disease burden and investment cases (2022) and a Lancet series on adolescent Indigenous health (2023).
This Lancet Series
synthesises knowledge on the role of nutrition in adolescent growth, the
drivers of adolescent food choice, and provides recommendations to reverse the
trends and achieve better nutrition outcomes for this generation. It brings
researchers from the nutrition and adolescent health sectors together with
young advocates to present the current state of knowledge. It extend the calls from the 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent
Health and Wellbeing and
a 2018 Call to Action, signed by over 100 organizations, to address
a neglect of adolescent nutrition in policy.
Paper 1: Nutrition in adolescent
growth and development
Lead authors: Shane
Norris and Edward Frongillo
This paper highlights
the role of nutrition in the growth and maturation of major physiological
systems in adolescence. Poor nutrition affects the physical and cognitive
capabilities acquired with consequences for health and productivity across the
life-course, and into the next generation. The paper also highlights gaps in
knowledge including a focus on single facets of adolescent growth rather than
the inter-connections between physiological systems. Read the paper.
Paper 2: Food choice in transition:
adolescent autonomy, agency, and the food environment
Lead author: Lynnette
This paper addresses
the drivers of food choices, exploring the interactions among adolescent agency,
autonomy, cultural context, and the food environment. The diversity and
quality of available and affordable food differs vasty across countries, as
does the scope for dietary choice. Food environments are shifting quickly
almost everywhere with economic development, urbanisation, and changes in the
food industry and agriculture. They may offer adolescents more food options,
but social desirability, convenience, taste, and affordability rather than
nutritional value commonly determine food choice. Read the paper.
Paper 3: Strategies and interventions
for healthy adolescent growth, nutrition, and development
Lead authors: Dougal
Hargreaves, Emily Mates and Purnima Menon
This paper examines
the actions needed to create healthy adolescent food environments, including
the roles that young people themselves may play in enhancing nutrition. To
date, adolescent programs have overwhelmingly emphasised single actions, such
as weekly iron folic acid supplementation, rather than tackling the multiple
drivers of adolescent food choice and nutritional status. Adolescent
nutrition policy and programming will differ across food environments but in
all places, needs to be intersectoral, with action across schools, social
protection, health services, food retailers, local communities and
families. Read the paper.
Forecasting paper: Modelling trends
in adolescent obesity, implications for population health, and potential
impacts of interventions to 2040
Lead author: Jess
Kerr, Dot Dumuid, Kate Francis, Peter Azzopardi, George Patton
This paper, will (1) provide contemporary estimates of the prevalence of
underweight and overweight/obesity for adolescents at global, regional and
national levels and describe transitions that have occurred since 1990 to 2017;
(2) model the implications of these contemporary overweight and obesity estimates
on population health and disease burden, and (3) model the prevalence of
adolescent overweight and obesity to 2040 and demonstrate how projected prevalence could change through for
example intervention to diet and/or
increases in physical activity.
On Tuesday 30th November,
the Lancet series on adolescent nutrition was successfully
launched with a virtual 90-minute event, that was co-hosted by The
Lancet, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and
the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. The launch was a side
event of the Nutrition for Growth Summit.
The recording of the
launch is available on The Lancet’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA3ltauk-oE.
The Lancet series on
adolescent nutrition, which contains three papers and two commentaries, can be
read here: www.thelancet.com/series/adolescent-nutrition
Prof George Patton, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University
of Melbourne, Australia
Dr Lynnette Neufeld, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
Prof Shane Norris, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Prof Edward Frongillo Jr, University of South Carolina, USA
Dr Dougal Hargreaves, Imperial College London, UK
Dr Purnima Menon, International Food Policy Research
Institute (IFPRI), India
Emily Mates, Emergency Nutrition Network, UK
Mariam Naguib, Youth Commissioner, Lancet Standing
Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, Canada
Shanshan He, Youth Commissioner, Lancet Standing
Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, China
Surabhi Dogra, Youth Commissioner, Lancet Standing
Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, India
Foundation Botnar with support from the Wellcome Trust.
For further information
please contact Prof
Further information on can be found on the AdolescentsOurFuture website.
Follow the Commission on Twitter.
Additional information about the Commission can be found on The Lancet website.