1,000 Days

Did you know that from the start of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s 2nd birthday is 1000 days? That 1,000 days is so crucial to the health of that child. Those days “offer a unique opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous futures. The right nutrition during this 1,000 day window can have an enormous impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn, and rise out of poverty. It can also have a profound effect on the long-term health, stability, and development of entire communities and nations.”

What is the Issue? The issue is undernutrition. The children are ultimately not receiving the proper nutrients to sustain their lives. Undernutrition “arises when there is inadequate consumption, poor absorption or an excessive loss of nutrients. Undernutrition is a form of malnutrition and sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.”

Evidence that good nutrition is key during the first 1,000 days:
  • save more than one million lives each year;
  • significantly reduce the human and economic burden of diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS;
  • reduce the risk for developing various non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, and other chronic conditions later in life;
  • improve an individual’s educational achievement and earning potential; and,
  • increase a country’s GDP by at least 2-3 percent annually.

What are some solutions to improve nutrition in the 1,000 day window that are available, affordable, and cost-effective?

  1. Ensuring that mothers and young children get the necessary vitamins and minerals they need;
  2. Promoting good nutritional practices, including breastfeeding and appropriate, healthy foods for infants; and
  3. Treating malnourished children with special, therapeutic foods.
How is 1,000 Days combating undernutrition?
  • Informing key audiences about the impact and cost-effectivenes of investing in nutrition during the critical 1,000 day window.
  • Engaging new actors to partner and invest in efforts to improve maternal and child nutrition.
  • Catalyzing collaboration and partnership across sectors.

 To learn more about 1,000 Days and to view where this content is cited from, click here.

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