WISHH, Nutrition & Global Development

An estimated 1 billion don’t eat enough protein, which is a foundation for growth and health.[1] Economical sources of high quality protein are an important part of solutions, especially those aimed at improving growth and brain development. Soy provides an economical source of high quality protein and several key micronutrients to feed the future of a growing population around the world.

As countries develop, a primarily undernourished population may be at risk for quickly developing overnutrition problems. Emphasis on dietary proteins is associated with reduced obesity and related health issues.[2]

Undernutrition can happen when a person doesn’t get enough food or the right kind of food to provide the nutrition necessary to function properly. A report by Save the Children states that malnutrition in children is associated with a 20% reduction in future earnings, costing “the global economy an estimated $125 billion when today’s children grow up.”[3]  According to the World Food Programme, for a malnourished person, “Physical work becomes problematic and even learning abilities can be diminished.”[4] The World Bank’s 2006 report suggested that, “economic benefits from improving nutrition are substantial” and may be higher than interventions for non-nutrition interventions.

While undernutrition can affect multiple generations, the first 1,000 days has been deemed to have a significant and “profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn, and rise out of poverty.”[5] Research suggests that making an impact to improve nutrition during the first 1,000 days can result in saving lives, reducing human and economic hardships, reduce risks for developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and improve educational capacity and earning potential.

How WISHH Helps

To meet the challenge of providing adequate high-quality protein to a growing population, WISHH brings expertise on soy and nutrition, as well as creating commercial opportunities for U.S. soy to fuel economic growth and build long term demand.

WISHH has supplied technical assistance on the integration of soyfoods to improve nutritional value of food and nutritional impact. These services have included development of concepts and projects to support the use of soy to improve nutrition, business development services to support food processors and others, nutrition education and training, and other technical assistance. WISHH partners with the public and private sector to further develop and monitor the nutritional impact of including soy products in the diet, while building long term demand for U.S. soy.  To read more about WISHH’s workshops and technical assistance, including workshop presentations, click HERE.

To see relevant resources and links regarding soy, nutrition and global development, visit our Relevant Links page HERE.


[1] Wu G, Fanzo J, Miller DD, Pingali P, Post M, Steiner JL, Thalacker-Mercer AE. Production and supply of high-quality food protein for human consumption: sustainability, challenges, and innovations. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2014:1321:1-19. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12500/pdf.
[2] Keller U. Dietary proteins in obesity and diabetes. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2011;81(2-3)125-133.
[3] Save the Children. Food for Thought: Tackling child malnutrition to unlock potential and boost prosperity. Available at: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/Food_for_Thought_UK.pdf
[4] World Food Programme. Hunger: What is malnutrition? Available at: http://www.wfp.org/hunger/malnutrition.
[5] 1,000 Days. Why 1,000 days. Available at: http://www.thousanddays.org/about/

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