Devastating food crises and 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.
In 2013 award-winning journalist and antihunger advocate Roger Thurow began following mothers and their babies through the first 1,000 days in areas where nutrition, health, and education programs are bringing hope to those historically plagued by malnutrition: Chicago, Guatemala, India, and Uganda. What began with several visits to families over a period of two to three years for his book has since turned into a longer-term study of these families over nearly a decade. His compelling stories explore the promise of—and confounding challenges to—a transformative worldwide initiative to end early childhood malnutrition.