ATNI is a groundbreaking global initiative by the Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF), an independent not-for-profit organization that is based in the Netherlands, to encourage food and beverage companies to increase consumers’ access to nutritious products and responsibly exercise their influence on consumer choice and behavior. ATNF is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).
The purpose of ATNF is to provide food and beverage manufacturers with a tool for benchmarking their nutrition practices and serving as an impartial source of information for interested stakeholders. Thus, the Index evaluates the manufacturers on their policies and performances related to the world’s most pressing nutrition challenges: obesity (over nutrition) and undernutrition.
The first Global Index was published in 2013 and the second in January 2016, which ranked the world’s largest 22 global F&B companies on their nutrition policies, performance and disclosure. For more information, see www.accesstonutrition.org. In addition to the Global Index, ATNF conducted research in 2012 in South Africa, Mexico and India to determine whether similar Indexes could be published for these countries.
India suffers from a ‘double burden of malnutrition’, that is, it has large undernourished populations and at the same time a growing number of overweight and obese people. More than one third of the world’s wasted children (54 million) and nearly 50 percent of the wasted children live in India. Childhood obesity is reaching alarming proportions in India; the prevalence rate reached 22% in children and adolescents aged between 5-19 years, over the last 5 years.
Food and beverage manufacturers in India have the potential to make a substantial contribution to preventing and addressing India’s nutrition challenges. From 2013 to 2015, consultations took place in India with civil society organizations, policymakers, academia and with companies and industry associations, to discuss the potential of an India Index and a suitable approach.
ATNF is all geared to launch the first Access to Nutrition Index focusing on the Indian sub-continent by the end of the year. The index will have top Food and Beverage companies in India evaluating them on overview of companies’ performances, practices and disclosure of corporate nutrition activities as well as the healthiness of their product portfolios. Keeping this context in mind, we would be happy to coordinate an interaction or provide quotes of Ms. Inge Kauer, Executive Director, or Marije Boomsma, Program Manager, of the Access To Nutrition Foundation to enlighten more on the global Nutrition landscape and positive impact of the Index.