Abstract While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs; 2000–2015) focused primarily on poverty reduction, hunger and infectious diseases, the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets pay more attention to nutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). One of the 169 proposed targets of the SDGs is to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one third; another is to end malnutrition in all its forms. Nutrition-related NCDs (NR-NCDs) stand at the intersection between malnutrition and NCDs. Driven in large part by remarkable transformations of food systems, they are rapidly increasing in most low and middle income countries (LMICs). The transformation to modern food systems began in the period following World War II with policies designed to meet a very different set of nutritional and food needs, and continued with globalization in the 1990s onwards. Another type of food systems transformation will be needed to shift towards a healthier and more sustainable diet – as will meeting many of the other SDGs. The process will be complex but is necessary. Communities concerned with NCDs and with malnutrition need to work more closely together to demand food systems change.