• One-quarter of Asia’s 350 million children under the age of 5 are underweight
  • 100 million children in Asia are stunted because they do not consume the nutrients needed to develop properly
  • 16.5 million under-5 children in Asia are overweight and obese, this number is expected to rise to 23.1 million by 2025

This double burden of malnutrition has emerged in the wake of Asia’s economic transition, resulting in high numbers of malnourished children.

Across the region, boys and girls are not able to compete with their peers because they have been malnourished from the very beginning, lacking vital vitamins and minerals, called micronutrients, as well as macronutrients such as protein, fat and energy. Poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life, starting from the point of conception to a child’s second birthday, can set back physical and mental development for a lifetime. Every stage of a child’s development requires the right fuel to help the body grow strong and resilient to infection and disease. Poverty, poor accessibility of nutritious foods, limited understanding of good nutrition, and low levels of breastfeeding all mean that Asia’s children are not given the same ‘sporting chance’ to reach their potential as those in other parts of the world.

This report demonstrates the significance of a growing network of grassroots football clubs across Asia which can transform the eating habits of children and adolescents across Asia, while educating their parents about good nutritional practices. By leveraging the emergence of grassroots football networks across Asia the One Goal campaign will promote research into the fields of sport and
nutrition, while strengthening the use of football as a tool for development and community outreach. 

The One Goal campaign has a vision of contributing to healthier children, fans and football players across Asia. It is calling for the support of national governments, the corporate sector, civil society, the general public and football fans globally to leverage the power and passion for football to tackle the double burden associated with poor nutrition that is holding back Asian children.

Read the full report: Fuelling Asia's Footballers for the Future