Tag Archives: World Bank

the first 1,000 days

The excerpt of the article that follows, by Lauren Weber, is another red flag for the health of our country. The first 1,000 days are critical in providing the necessary nutrition for proper development of the brain. Malnourishment during this window from conception to two years of age will impact children for the remainder of their lives.

More Than Half Of American Babies Are At Risk For Malnourishment

The first 1,000 days of nutrition can set a child’s course for life or perpetuate a cycle of poverty.     By Lauren Weber

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. ― The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations.

But while the World BankUSAID, the World Health Organization and UNICEF push to improve early nutrition among impoverished communities in developing nations, there has been much less emphasis on the first 1,000 days in the United States. That’s not to say that all is well here: Over half of the country’s infants are on nutritional assistance and the top vegetable eaten by U.S. toddlers is the french fry.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a groundbreaking policy statement highlighting the importance, and irreversibility, of the 1,000-day window.

“Failure to provide key nutrients during this critical period of brain development may result in lifelong deficits in brain function despite subsequent nutrient repletion,” the AAP Committee on Nutrition said.

In other words, no amount of catch-up can completely fix the lost time for brain formation. Malnourishing the brain can produce a lower IQ; lead to a lifetime of chronic medical problems; increase the risk of obesity, hypertension and diabetes; and cost that individual future academic achievement and job success. The impact can even be generational, perpetuating a cycle of poverty for lifetimes to come.

It’s unclear exactly how many kids in the U.S. are malnourished, but there’s some disturbing evidence: A quarter of toddlers don’t receive enough iron, 1 in 5 children are obese, 1 in 6 households with children are food-insecure, and over half of infants participate in the federal Women, Infants, and Children program for supplemental nutrition.

These children’s futures are at stake, said Lucy Sullivan, executive director for the nonprofit 1,000 Days, which advocates here and abroad for better early nutrition.

“The first 1,000 days matter for all the days that follow.”

changing the world

The numbers of extremely poor continue to drop around the globe. Working together, we are changing the world.

The chart pictured above illustrates the good news. The Millennium Development Goals (from 2000 -2015), and now the Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030), are working, and working well.

We are on track to end hunger by 2030. Let’s continue striving to make it happen. Working together we can achieve a world without hunger, and we can do it in our lifetime.

 

not just a dream

On the wall in the lobby of the World Bank headquarters are the words of OUR DREAM IS A WORLD FREE OF POVERTY.

If we act now with wisdom and foresight,
if we show courage,
if we think globally and
allocate our resources accordingly,
we can give our children a
more peaceful and equitable world.
One where suffering will be reduced.
Where children everywhere
will have a sense of hope.
This is not just a dream.
It is our responsibility.

A more peaceful and equitable world is possible.  A world where suffering is reduced and all children can be free from the pain of hunger is within our grasp.

Achieving such a world is a matter of choice. If we desire such a world we have to be willing to reach for it, work for it, advocate for it, fight for it.  We have to live for it.

I think such a world is worth whatever effort it takes to achieve it. Do you?