Tegla Loroupe speaks at the Nutrition For Growth event in Rio (© Organisers)
On the eve of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, IAAF Ambassador Tegla Loroupe joined several other leading figures at the Nutrition For Growth event on Thursday (4), calling for world leaders to increase financial investments in nutrition with the aim of bringing an end to malnutrition by 2030.
The threat of malnutrition – including undernutrition, stunting, overweight and obesity – has never been more urgent. One in three people worldwide suffer from some form of malnutrition. Nearly half of children who die before the age of five do so because they are malnourished. Of those that survive, nearly one in four – about 160 million children globally – suffer from lifelong effects of stunted growth and impaired development. And nearly 41 million children worldwide are overweight or obese.
“As an athlete who did not have good nutrition, I had a challenge,” said former marathon world record-holder Loroupe, who is the Chef de Mission of the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio. “I call upon all sportspeople to support this cause.”
Brazilian sprinter Robson Caetano da Silva also lent his voice to the cause.
“When I was a child living in a slum in Rio, there was no food when I opened the fridge,” said the 1988 Olympic 200m bronze medallist. “Sport gave me an opportunity to overcome this and succeed. We should give this same opportunity to all children, to ensure that they reach their full development in life – and this relates to nutrition.”