The importance of adequate nutrition for prevention of morbidity, mortality and impairment has been well established. The subject of disability and its relationship with nutrition is not currently a well-defined research or policy area. What is known is that as a result of living in poverty, persons with disabilities are more susceptible to poor nutrition and as a result are more at risk of acquiring secondary impairments. Other risk factors include the discrimination faced by persons with disabilities, which can result in children or adults with disabilities receiving less food than their peers within a household or institutional setting. Poor access to education and health services can lead to less access to information on nutrition.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) requires that governments provide an adequate standard of living for persons with disabilities (Article 28), including access to adequate food. Persons with disabilities are also particularly vulnerable in humanitarian emergencies (Article 11), and their needs must be considered in food distribution programs.
Resources in this section focus on providing general information relating to nutrition, particularly in the first few years of life, as well as examples of actions that can be taken to better include persons with disabilities in nutrition programs.