Marching for Nutrition Changes Lives Forever
Children are our future. Their health and potential lies in the hands of parents, caregivers, and community members. Children become adults, have babies, and the future becomes the present held by the hands and shaped by the minds of the next generation. To strengthen individuals and communities, DSM supports Thousand Days in its #March4Nutrition campaign to increase awareness of the importance of nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life.
Malnutrition affects 34 million children each year, claiming the lives of 1 million children under 5y annually. Malnutrition is a silent killer and can be prevented. Babies need essential nutrients to grow and develop. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months provides nutrients essential for their development – brain, eyes, digestive and immune system, and more. Breastfeeding also benefits the mother.
Ultimately, however, infant and child development depends upon the availability of hero nutrients. Supplementation and complementary foods can augment supply. Vitamin A is required to prevent blindness and reduce risk of death. Lutein and zeaxanthin are dietary carotenoids influencing visual and cognitive development. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, makes up approximately 30 percent of the structural fat in the gray matter of the brain and is important for optimal brain, eye, and nervous system development in infants. Arachidonic acid (ARA) is the principal omega-6 in the brain and a precursor to a group of hormone-like substances (eicosanoids) that play a role in immunity, blood clotting and other vital functions in the body. And the list could go, naming all the essential vitamins and minerals.
With adequate nutrition in the first 1,000 days, children are more likely to overcome life-threatening disease, advance further in school, earn more wages and raise healthier families. Improving nutrition changes lives and societies.
Watch our video to learn about DSM commitment to improving nutrition during the first 1,000 days. DSM supports the World Food Programme. We encourage readers to join us, ThousandDays, Scaling Up Nutrition, Vitamin Angels, Micronutrient Initiative, and others trying to improve nutrition of mothers and children during the first 1,000 days.
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