Tag Archives: Nutrition

Malnutrition, stunting and the importance of a child’s first 1000 days

Rihlat Said Mohamed, University of the Witwatersrand

The first 1000 days of a child’s life – from the time they are conceived until they turn two – is an important period for the development of both the fetus and the infant. It sets up the foundation for the child’s growth, brain development and general health.

Poor fetal growth during pregnancy results in children being born with a lower birth weight and a greater tendency to be stunted. Stunting is the failure to grow optimally and is first picked up in children who are shorter for their age group when they are two.

Continue reading Malnutrition, stunting and the importance of a child’s first 1000 days

Social Good Moms Write for USAID, Feed the Future

Social Good Moms Write for USAID, Feed the Future

We are so happy to see Social Good Moms and Global Team of 200 members published by USAID and Feed the Future this week in a nutrition series. Read Julia Gibson‘s and Jennifer Barbour‘s great posts. Stay tuned on Monday for another post by Shivani Cotter. Congratulations, ladies!

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Nutrition for Growth Summit Results, Outcomes

On Saturday, June 8  Britain along with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and the Government of Brazil convened the Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science summit. An all-day affair experts and world leaders touted the importance of putting nutrition on the global agenda in the lead-up to the G8 summit which the UK will also host. Without an urgent scaled nutrition effort more children will die from undernutrition and will suffer from stunting which we now know is irreversible. The adult labor force in low and middle income countries will also suffer from low productivity, a critical factor when working to reach global development goals for the advancement of these countries.

90 stakeholders including 24 countries, NGOS and private sector companies signed a global agreement, the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact, to tackle world malnutrition. The first step, according to the Compact, is to ensure that at least 500 million pregnant women and children under two are reached with effective nutrition interventions, reduce the number of children under five stunted by at least 20 million, and to save the lives of at least 1.7 million children under 5 by preventing stunting, increasing breastfeeding, and increasing treatment of severe acute malnutrition. (See the Compact in PDF).

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Additionally over $4.15 billion dollars in new commitments were made to drastically improve malnutrition rates by 2020. You can read the entire list of commitments in the  Nutrition for Growth Commitments: Executive Summary. Now that the commitments have been made it’s – as always – only a matter if they will all be honored.

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You can follow the conversation at #nutritionforgrowth.

Photo: United Nations

Nutrition on the Global Agenda

On Monday GAIN and Future Fortified hosted the #NutritionHangout on Google+ with ONE, USAID, and 1,000 Days. The hangout started with Tom Hart, US Executive Director of ONE presenting over 100,000 signatures of a recent nutrition campaign ONE held with its members to Dr. Raj Shah, USAID Administrator. ONE members signed the petition to put child nutrition on the global agenda and end child malnutrition by 2016. Administrator Shah mentioned that the United States has had a long tradition of putting nutrition goals on its agenda.

“America has for decades led the effort to provide nutrition around the world,” Shah said. “Today we believe there is a better approach. Feed the Future has helped 12 million children move from malnutrition.”

Shah also mentioned the need to reform United States’ role in providing nutrition around the world by reaching more children within the first 1000 days of life, which begins when babies are still in the womb.

“We all need to make investments to increase core support for nutrition,” Administrator Shah continued. “We do have to  look at doing things more efficiently. We cannot continue to spend up to 50% on overhead to get food to people.”

Tom Hart from the ONE Campaign underscored the critical need to push for nutrition reform and make malnutrition a global priority.

“We all understand what it means to have nutritious food or the lack thereof,” Hart said. “We are focusing media and social media on this G8 Summit. Those eight people really do set he agenda. They set the momentum. We hope to hold their feet to the fire about malnutrition. We are backing USAID and the Obama administration with food reform.”

The robust conversation moderated by Adrianna Logalbo, campaign head for Future Fortified, also included Tjada McKenna, Deputy Coordinator for Development at Feed the Future, and Lucy Sullivan, Executive Director of 1,000 Days, and Chef Candice Kumai,  advocate for Future Fortified.

Sullivan from 1,000 Days shed light on the importance of providing sound nutrition to millions of children within the 1000 days window. “There are a lot of biological processes critical to healthy development,” she said. “Malnutrition can cause irreversible danger.”

And McKenna discussed Feed the Future‘s role in the global nutrition landscape.  “Nutrition has been at the center of many of our development efforts”, she said. “12 million children have benefited by reduced anemia, and malnutrition.”

You can watch the full discussion below.

[Infographic] Nourishing 50 Million Moms and Children Around the World

If there is one global issue I am highly concerned about it’s food security. It literally pains me that there are children who woke up this morning and won’t eat all day. All day! It saddens me that there is a breastfeeding mom somewhere in the world who can’t get the proper nourishment to feed not only herself, but also her nursing baby. Or, a pregnant mother who can’t get enough to eat to nourish her growing baby.

Food, for us, is everywhere. In fact, most of us are trying our best not to eat too much food to slim down. It’s a little maddening when you think about  overabundance and areas that have little food.

Below is an infographic courtesy of FutureFortified.com, a global campaign to help nourish 50 million moms by 2015. It shows the impact of having little access to food and how it affects people’s health.