The time from conception through age 2 years, “the first 1,000 days,” is vitally important to the health of a child and for optimal lifelong health.1 However, there are millions of women and children throughout the world without access to sufficient sources of energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins. The short- term effects of poor nutrition in childhood are manifested as nutrient-specific conditions including night blindness, anemia, poor growth and development, and severe wasting. An important long-term outcome of poor nutrition is growth retardation (i.e., stunting) and it is estimated that the global prevalence of stunting decreased from 40% to 27% of children under the age of 5 years between 1990 and 2010 and is expected to reach 22% by 2020.
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