The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday offers a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures. The right nutrition during this 1,000 day window has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and thrive—and a lasting effect on a country’s health and prosperity.
Nutrition during pregnancy and in the first years of a child’s life provides the essential building blocks for brain development, healthy growth and a strong immune system. In fact, a growing body of scientific evidence shows that the foundation of a person’s lifelong health, including their predisposition to obesity and certain chronic diseases, are largely set during this 1,000 day window. This is why it is critical that women and children get the right nutrition during this time.
Malnutrition early in life can cause irreversible damage to children’s brain development and their physical growth, leading to a diminished capacity to learn, poorer performance in school, greater susceptibility to infection and disease, and a lifetime of lost earning potential. It can even put them at increased risk of developing illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers later in life, www.thousanddays.org.