Research highlights need to integrate global strategies to tackle development within first 1000 days of childhood

Published on February 7, 2014 at 6:54 AM · No Comments

Freely Available Special Issue published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Safeguarding the healthy development of the next generation is vital for the long term success of the United Nation’s Millennium Development goals. New research in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences highlights the need to integrate global strategies aimed at tackling nutrition and cognitive development within the first thousand days of childhood.

“Global estimates by UNICEF reveal that over 165 million children below the age of five suffer from stunted growth,” said Professor Maureen Black from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and editor of the special issue. “Early stunting is an indicator which helps us estimate the number of children who do not reach their developmental potential.”

Published via Online Access, the freely available special issue reveals how poverty, nutritional deficiencies, and a lack of responsive caregiving and learning opportunities combine to undermine childhood potential. The result is the estimated 200 million children in developing countries, under the age of five who are not reaching their developmental potential.

Professor Black and Professor Kathryn Dewey, from the University of California-Davis, highlight the importance of combining intervention strategies which focus on both nutrition and early learning. They highlight several implementation recommendations detailed in the special issue, including:

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