The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) released a special series about the importance of the first 1,000-day window, the time between pregnancy and a baby’s second birthday, as being most critical for brain development. During this period, good nutrition has the greatest influence on future health. The AJPH series identifies opportunities to improve health during this period by closing data gaps, enhancing promising programs, strengthening policies, and uniting around this critical period of growth.
Topics from the series include:
- Existing data gaps around nutrition status and eating behaviors of pregnant people, infants, and toddlers, and around micronutrient deficiencies such as iron.
- Improving nutrition during pregnancy due to the important health implications
- Supporting breastfeeding by helping caregivers understand the benefits of breastfeeding.
- Documenting impacts of disparities related to food access, education, housing, health care, and employment on underserved communities.
- Countering marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks and ultra-processed foods.
- Highlighting the importance of the Early Care and Education (ECE) setting on a child’s first 1,000 days and ways to leverage federal, state, and local level actions to support early care and education programs and providers.
- Actions that can be taken immediately in childcare facilities, healthcare settings, and philanthropic organizations to bolster nutrition efforts during the first 1,000-day window.
- Some articles can be found below:
- How to Collectively Move Forward to Achieve Optimal Nutritional Status During the First 1,000 Days
- Leveraging Federal, State, and Facility-Level Early Care and Education Systems and Providers Toward Optimal Child Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days
- Improving nutrition in the first 1,000 days in the United States: A Federal Perspective
- Iron Deficiency in the United States: Limitations in Guidelines, Data, and Monitoring of Disparities