The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics commenced National Nutrition Month in 1980 to increase awareness on the importance of food choices. The #March4Nutrition campaign, started by 1,000 Days, focuses on the critical phase of development from conception to 2 years of age.
For me, the most important significance of the number 1000 is the number of days in the period from the outset of a woman's pregnancy until her child's second birthday--a period that in large part shapes the future health, education and welfare of the child.
If we fail to start making more meaningful investment in this kind of capacity development now, we may well find ourselves still struggling with inadequate health systems and limited human resource capacity not only come 2020, but 20 years down the road and beyond.
We had a fantastic panel with representatives from 1000 Days, No Kid Hungry, and the Bread for the World Institute, who discussed the topic from both a national and international standpoint, and the crucial steps we need to take to address it.
In the life of a child, nutrition during the first 1,000 days -- from a mother's pregnancy to the child's second birthday -- can mean the difference between a promising future or one plagued by poor health and stunted growth.