Healthy children learn better. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.
Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health. Today the world faces a double burden of malnutrition that includes both undernutrition and overweight, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
WHO is providing scientific advice and decision-making tools that can help countries take action to address all forms of malnutrition to support health and wellbeing for all, at all ages.
This fact file explores the risks posed by all forms of malnutrition, starting from the earliest stages of development, and the responses that the health system can give directly and through its influence on other sectors, particularly the food system.
The Importance of Nutrition | The First 1000 Days
Nutrition Impacts Growth Outcomes
An apple a day – we all remember our moms telling us “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” to encourage us to eat more fruit. It is well known that eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides the proper nutrition to support a healthy lifestyle. But what is “nutrition” and how does it impact us?
Mirriam-Webster defines nutrition as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth”. The food we eat every day affects how our bodies work, how we heal and grow, and how we maintain energy and strength for years to come.
Food Choices During Pregnancy Directly Impact the Baby
Food necessary for health and growth can take on different forms for different people. For older adults, this means eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D to help maintain proper bone health and eating more fiber-rich foods to help lower the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
For a pregnant woman, supplying her body with a blend of nutritious foods will keep her feeling healthy during pregnancy and could lead to an easier labor. But most importantly, pregnancy is the time in a woman’s life that her eating habits will have a direct impact on another person – that of her growing baby.