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

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 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.


All persons wishing to participate in the symposium are requested to register in advance using the On-line Pre-Registration form

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


To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, the IAEA will organize this conference as a ‘green meeting’ according to the guidelines of the Austrian Ecolabel.

There will be a focus on the areas of paper smart documentation, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally friendly catering.

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.

This announcement was originally published on the International Atomic Energy Website


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