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The case for investing in nutrition is clear. Poor nutrition during the first 1,000 days—from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday—can cause life-long and irreversible damage, with consequences at the individual, community, and national level.

Multi-sectoral Approaches to Nutrition: When a child is malnourished during the first 1,000 days of life, it results in a weaker immune system and a higher risk of severe infectious diseases, including diarrhoea and pneumonia. As undernourished children become adults, they are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. These health impacts have devastating consequences for social and economic outcomes. Poorly nourished children are more likely to complete fewer years of school and have lower productivity as adults, including 10 percent lower earnings over their lifetime.

When multiplied across an entire nation, it is estimated that poor nutrition can reduce a nation’s economic advancement by at least 8 percent due to direct productivity losses, and losses due to reduced schooling and poorer cognition.

By improving nutrition, we can build human capital and fuel economic growth for generations to come. However, nutrition’s full impact can only be unleashed when all sectors do their part.