City of Lodz starts “The First 1000 Days” program.

1000-pierwszych-dni-dla-zdrowia-logo-glIn Lodz, Poland a local Food Bank named after Marek Edelman has started to organize a series of educational workshops, talks and meetings to place more importance on the first 1000 days of our lives. It is part of a bigger campaign initiated by the foundation NUTRICIA called “1000 First Days for Health”.

“Together with our 200 partner NGOs we will be also distributing flyers and posters all over our city and region. We have also set up an information point in the local Food Bank, where you will be able to get advice on principles of the correct nutrition process of little children and pregnant women. A dietician will be available for private consultation and all interested will be able to use internet for more information” – said Pawel Drobnik, the project coordinator of the Lodz Food Bank.

A couple of months ago I shared a link to an article from the Huffington Post written by a 17-year old Brett Hahn. He started by asking a question what is the most important thing that your parents have done for you? The answer to this question lies within the first 1,000 days of our existence; from the time that each of us was just a fetus in the womb to the age of 2, our parents properly fed us.

Reading about the project that is now being launched in Lodz I started to search for other projects of its kind and a lot of NGO’s are focusing on the issue of the first 1000 days of life. The Save the Children organization has carried out a study on Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days. “Out of 73 developing countries – which together account for 95 percent of child deaths – only four score “very good” on measures of young child nutrition. Our Infant and Toddler Feeding Scorecard identifies Malawi, Madagascar, Peru and Solomon Islands as the top four countries where the majority of children under age of 2 are being fed according to recommended standards.”

One of the main reasons for malnutrition among the developing countries is the lack of awareness on this important issue. Many women don’t even realize how fundamental breastfeeding is. Breastfeeding is the single most effective nutrition intervention for saving lives. If practiced optimally, it could prevent 1 million child deaths each year. In developing countries those children that are fed by their mothers are at least 6 times more likely to survive.

In addition to that, during the first 1000 days of our life we develop and build one of our most important muscles – the brain. Proper nutrition helps us build all of our vital organs in the right manner so as to be used for the rest of our lives. Apparently people that were properly fed during their first days are able to earn 20% higher wages. Unfortunately, the global cost of malnutrition related programs oscillates between $20 to $30 billion. Maybe spending more money on this kind of support will help us spend less money on other issues such as military services or curing diseases caused by malnutrition.

References:

  1. 1000 Pierwszych Dni (1000 Frist Days) http://www.1000dni.pl/
  2. Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days http://www.savethechildren.org/atf/cf/%7B9def2ebe-10ae-432c-9bd0-df91d2eba74a%7D/STATE-OF-THE-WORLDS-MOTHERS-REPORT-2012-FINAL.PDF

posted by Piotr Wielezynski

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