Armenia suffers from the “Double Burden” of under- and over-nutrition.  Chronic under-nutrition of children is a pressing concern, as are the epidemics of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Chronic under-nutrition, leading to stunted growth, is reported to affect nearly 20% of children under 5.[1]  Stunted growth leads to poor physical health, reduces cognitive potential and future income and productivity.

Stunting is the least understood crisis for too many children today. It is not only a challenge, but a huge development opportunity. Investing in nutrition is highly cost-effective. It pays off in the lives of children and in reducing poverty.”  Anthony Lake, UNICEF June 8, 2013.

Simultaneously, rates of overweight, obesity and diabetes are increasing in older children, adolescents and adults.   Children who do not receive adequate nutrition during a critical period in their development are at greater risk for chronic disease as adults. Recent data from Armenia show an increase in rates of obesity in both children (15% obesity in children under 5)[2] and adults (55% overweight, 24% obese)[3].  Diabetes has become the third leading cause of all deaths in Armenia today.[4] Over 90% of all mortality in Armenia is caused by non-communicable diseases, many of which are related to poor diet. Armenia is suffering from the double burden of.  Chronic under-nutrition of children is a pressing concern, as are the related epidemics of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The impact of this loss, this tragedy, goes beyond individuals, beyond families. NCDs are altering demographics. They are stunting development. And they are impacting economic growth.” UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs September 19, 2011.

Description and Objectives of the Symposium:

This symposium is of interest to health professionals, program planners, and policy makers from different areas including health care, agriculture, social security, and education.   The symposium will increase their awareness about the causes and consequences of the double burden of malnutrition faced by Armenia today.

Specifically, symposium attendees will:

  • Review the current status of the “double burden” of malnutrition globally and in Armenia
  • Review the causes and consequences of under- and over-nutrition in Armenia
  • Review nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive policies and interventions relevant to Armenia’s present situation
  • Review the role of nutrition and lifestyle in communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • Identify gaps in surveillance, data, training and other areas to be addressed in further initiatives
  • Develop recommendations for interventions, capacity-building, and inter-sectoral partnerships for a nutrition action plan for Armenia.

Organizers and Sponsors:

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

–   Institute of Human Nutrition

–    International Program in Skeletal Health, Division of Endocrinology

American University of Armenia, School of Public Health

Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR)

World Vision Armenia



Jinishian Memorial Foundation

Armenian Medical Fund (AMF)

Armenian American Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO)

JHM Charitable Foundation


[1] Armenian Demographic and Health Survey, 2010

[2] ADHS, 2010 (as above)

[3] WHO NCD Armenia Country Profile, 2010

[4] Same as above