Nutrition and Health: Strengthening the Connection

March 1, 2012

Background Paper

Produced by Bread for the World Institute

No. 219

March-April 2012

In the last few years, there has been an unprecedented global effort to improve maternal and child nutrition. The effort is driven by the growing recognition that malnutrition during the period from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday causes devastating and largely irreversible damage. Young children are simply much more vulnerable to malnutrition than older kids or adults. But the flip side is that pregnancy to age 2 is truly a “window of opportunity.” Ensuring that young children are well nourished has a dramatic impact on their whole lives — better
health, greater achievement in school, and higher lifetime earnings.

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