Why Nutrition During the First 1,000 Days Matters for Mothers and Their Children Campaign: Nutrition for Zero Hunger
Every child should have a strong start in life. But the reality is that an estimated 149 million children under the age of five are developmentally stunted due to chronic malnutrition during the 1,000 day period from conception until they reach two years of age.
Malnutrition has many causes. A mother’s nutritional status, for example, profoundly affects her child’s survival, growth, and development, as does the child’s access to nutrition in the first hours and days of life.
Studies have shown how women are disproportionately impacted by hunger. Women and girls make up 60 percent of those who are food insecure – 821 million people worldwide. In many cultures, it’s not an uncommon gender norm that women and girls eat last and least after the men and boys have been fed. Moreover, girls who marry during childhood give birth earlier in life.
As young, malnourished women give birth to infants with statistically lower birth weights, the cycle of malnutrition begins again. However, when a young mother born into malnourishment has access to proper nutrition and nutrition education, she can teach her children the importance of nutrition, effectively intervening in the cycle.
This article was originally published on IAmHerbalifeNutrition.com. Read more here to learn how Herbalife Nutrition shares the importance of good nutrition and breastfeeding during the first 1000 days of a child and their mother.