With a population of 261 million people in 2016, Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world. A member of the G20, in recent years Indonesia has rapidly industrialised and graduated to a middle-income economy. However, many development challenges remain. Income is unevenly distributed and only the higher-income consumers can afford sustained access to healthy and nutritious foods.

Different forms of malnutrition - including anaemia, stunting, and micronutrient deficiencies - remain a major public health challenge, especially among adolescent girls, pregnant women, and children under five years of age. Over a third of children under five are stunted (30.6%), 16 million women of reproductive age are anaemic, and the prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls (15-18 years old) is approximately 23%. Indonesia also suffers a double burden of malnutrition, which is characterised by the coexistence of undernutrition along with overweight and obesity. A key contributing factor is the typical Indonesian diet, which is high in carbohydrates and starchy foods.

Food intake is very much associated with quantity of food, rather than with quality. Cultural preferences and taboos, for example around lamb and shrimp, coupled with intergenerational social norms, heavily affect the diets of pregnant women and limit their consumption of proteins and other foods rich in micronutrients.

GAIN’s contribution

GAIN offers high-quality know-how on transforming food systems to improve the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially those most vulnerable to malnutrition.

We aim to support and advise the Government of Indonesia, the Ministry of Health, nutrition stakeholders, academia, businesses, and development partners as they build and mobilise food and nutrition plans to advance nutrition for all people.

To this effect, GAIN has supported the development of the national Food Composition Table, which consist of detailed sets of information on the nutritionally important components of foods and provide values for energy and nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals and other important food components such as fibres. The Food Composition Table has been updated for the first time since 1967.