Good nutritional status is fundamentally important for ensuring and maintaining health and enhancing physical and cognitive capacity of populations. Thus, the economic growth and social development of a nation is highly dependent on a well-nourished population.
In contrast, nutritional deficiencies lead to increased morbidity and mortality among the population and retard economic growth. More than one-third of deaths among children under five years old worldwide are attributed to malnutrition, and the World Bank estimates that many countries lose at least 2 – 3 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to malnutrition. Thus, in 2008, the Copenhagen Consensus, composed of world renowned economists, selected five nutrition interventions among the top 10 most cost-effective national investments in developing countries. Yet again, the 2012 Copenhagen Consensus rated interventions to reduce malnutrition in children <5 years old as the top investment priority for developing countries.