Original publisher: Rome: Food and Nutrition Division FAO
Publication status: Published without notice of copyright
The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANISATION (FAO) of the United Nations provides assistance and advice to intergovernmental agencies for their development and planning to ensure that their food supply meets the dietary needs to its people.
In spite of progress made over the last two decades to produce enough food, 793 million people still suffer from chronic hunger. Among children, it is estimated that 161 million under five years of age are chronically malnourished (stunted), almost 99 million are underweight, and about 51 million are acutely malnourished (wasted).
The WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) employs over 7,000 people to direct and coordinate authorities on international health within the United Nations’ system. Their constitution defines “Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Both organisations are concerned with the gathering of information on human nutritional requirements – as accurately and generally acceptable as possible to provide a basis for the programmes and policies of their member organisations.
Over the past thirty years both FAO and WHO have convened and a number of Expert Groups have reported on human vitamin and mineral requirements.
The following is the Expert Group Consultation held in Bangkok in September 1998.