Investing in Better Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days
Because nutrition lays the foundation for human health and development, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has joined the 1,000 Days campaign to help ensure children worldwide get the best possible start in life. The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday offers a unique window of opportunity to shape a healthier and more prosperous future. Nutrition during this window can have a major impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn, and rise out of poverty. It can also shape a society’s long-term health, stability and prosperity.
For children under the age of two, malnutrition can be life-threatening. It can weaken the immune system and make them more susceptible to dying from common illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. Investing in better nutrition in the 1,000 day window can help families, communities and countries break the cycle of poverty.
The AAP believes child nutrition is a health priority. Leading scientists, economists, and health experts agree that improving nutrition during the critical 1,000 day window is one of the best investments we can make to achieve lasting progress in global health and development. Good nutrition, healthy active living, and malnutrition and hunger prevention programs are critical for all children. The AAP supports programs that address these issues both in the U.S. and around the world.
Join the AAP and 1,000 Days to provide solutions to improve nutrition in the 1,000 day window that are readily available, affordable and cost-effective:
- Promote good maternal and child nutritional practices, including exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life.
- Treat malnourished children with special, therapeutic foods.
- Raise awareness about the impact of poverty and food insecurity, screen for basic needs, and link families to community resources.
- Facilitate access to health services and food-secure household environments.
- Advocate for policies at the national, state, and local levels that help lift families out of poverty and promote good nutrition.