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The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World

RESEARCH Book by Roger Thurow
Woman and child, India.
Raju GPK

Proper nutrition during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can profoundly influence an individual’s ability to grow, learn, and work.

Key Findings

Through compelling stories of new mothers and babies in Uganda, India, Guatemala, and Chicago, an award-winning journalist and anti-hunger advocate explores the promise of—and confounding challenges to—a transformative worldwide initiative to end early childhood malnutrition.

In the past few years, devastating food crises and new research on the economic and social costs of childhood hunger have inspired an unprecedented international movement to end malnutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, beginning with the mother’s pregnancy. Proper nutrition during these 1,000 days can profoundly influence an individual’s ability to grow, learn, and work. It can also determine a society’s long-term health and prosperity. But, as journalist Roger Thurow reveals, the task of better nourishing mothers and children is easier said than done.

Through inspiring and heartbreaking stories of families in four diverse places, Thurow brings the 1,000 days to life and illuminates the science, economics, politics, and progress of the movement, as well as the formidable obstacles and challenges it faces: among them economic injustice, disease, lack of education and sanitation, misogyny, and corruption.

Get a first look at photos and stories from the book in this web interactive.

About the Author
Senior Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture
Council expert Roger Thurow
Roger Thurow spent three decades at The Wall Street Journal as foreign correspondent based in Europe and Africa prior to joining the Council in 2010. His coverage spanned the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, and humanitarian crises. He is the author of three books.
Council expert Roger Thurow