The triple burden of malnutrition, which encompasses undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity, is a global challenge experienced by all nations, albeit in different forms. The Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture (FNSA) project of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), a global network of over 130 academies of science and medicine, sought to determine the key challenges and opportunities for science and innovation to contribute to improved FNSA. Four parallel studies were carried out, one for each region (Africa, Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Americas), which served as a resource for a fifth study focusing on science and policy issues that require international consideration and coordination. Addressing global food and nutrition security requires a food systems approach that considers issues pertaining both to sustainable production and sustainable consumption, to deliver healthy and nutritious diets with a minimal environmental impact. Developing a broad evidence base and building critical mass in research and innovation (scientific, social and in policy), and mobilising these resources in advising policy is critical. It is also important to integrate analysis at national, regional and global levels and focus on local-global linkages and inter-regional issues. This perspectives article discusses some of the key regional and global findings of the IAP FNSA studies, in the context of more recently available evidence on the topic.