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The first 1,000 days, from conception to two years of age, is a critical period of growth and development. Exposures to dietary, environmental, hormonal, and other stressors during this window have been associated with an increased risk of poor health outcomes, some of which are irreversible. The book, The Biology of the First 1,000 Days, addresses this crucial interval of early life across biological disciplines, linking concepts related to all biological fields to outcomes during the first 1,000 days (e.g. fetal growth and pregnancy outcomes) and beyond (e.g. gut microbiome and cardiovascular disease later in life). The strength of this book lies in its cross-disciplinary nature.


–  Summarizes the importance and irreversible nature of growth and nutrition experienced in the first 1,000 days of life

– Outlines the negative impacts of malnutrition, hormonal stressors, environmental enteropathies, inadequate early growth, and others on later life

– Examines the biology and pathophysiology of the myriad influences on early health and development

– Reviews normal and abnormal fetal and infant development associated with prenatal and postnatal exposures

– Provides suggestions for interventions mitigating poor fetal and early postnatal conditions


Crystal Karakochuk, PhD, RD
Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition
Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia
Investigator, Healthy Starts, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Kyly Whitfield, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University

Prof Tim Green
Affiliate Professor Discipline of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide

Klaus Kraemer
Director of Sight and Life and Adjunct Professor Johns Hopkins School of Public Health


“The Biology of the First 1000 Days compiles the substance behind what we know to be the key to progress. Investing in good nutrition during a child’s first 1000 days is essential for not only unlocking a child’s physical and mental development. It is the way forward for improved health, productivity, income and a sustainable future – with no one left behind. This book compiles our experience, and showcases it for policy makers, strategists and programmers. I hope the knowledge captured in these pages plays an important role in achieving the ultimate goal – an end to malnutrition, in all its forms.”

– Gerda Verburg, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Coordinator and UN Assistant Secretary General

“The book is a comprehensive and synthetic review of key spatial factors ranging from preconception to age two— it is a critical reference and will shape public policy and improve interventions for mother and child – impacts that will last a lifetime”

– Emorn Udomkesmalee, Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand

“Nutrition policy accepted that the first 1,000 days are critical for life. Now knowledge about the biology of that critical window – so important for specific policy actions – is provided by this volume. It is essential reading for the nutrition community. The list of contributors reads like a Who is Who in nutrition research.”

– Prof. Joachim von Braun, Bonn University, Vice Chair of the Board of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

“In The Biology of the First 1,000 Days we find, clearly and profoundly, the scientific evidence of how good nutrition truly shapes the future of our world – a most valuable contribution to our understanding of a long-neglected issue.”

– Roger Thurow, author of The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children – And the World

Visit the Resources section to DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE BOOK.