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Month: October 2021

1,000 Days Statement on Build Back Better

On behalf of 1,000 Days, I would like to express my deep disappointment at the news that paid family and medical leave has been left out of the Build Back Better package. President Biden called for a “once-in-a-generation investment in our families and our children,” and in many ways the package delivers on that promise. Historic investments in child care and the care infrastructure, children’s access to nutritious foods, health coverage, and the Child Tax Credit will be transformative for our nation’s families. 

However, as it currently stands, millions of families will not have the opportunity to benefit from the promise of paid leave: the opportunity to care for themselves and their loved ones, to bond with a new child, to spend precious moments with a gravely ill family member, or to recover from their own serious illness. As the past 18 months have made all too clear, paid leave is a public health imperative. At 1,000 Days, we know that access to paid leave is crucial to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening our economy, supporting workers, improving maternal and child health outcomes and reducing disparities, and building a better future for American families. 

This must be the year we pass paid leave. We will continue to fight alongside our partners to ensure that all workers and all families in the United States have access to comprehensive, equitable paid family and medical leave.

Blythe Thomas
Initiative Director
1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions

Community Recommendations for U.S. Nutrition for Growth Commitments

Dear President Biden,

We, the undersigned organizations, write to thank you for continuing your Administration’s support for global food security and nutrition at the recent UN Food Systems Summit. We appreciate that your Administration has acknowledged the skyrocketing rates of global hunger and malnutrition and hope that you will prioritize progress and focus on impact in this year of action on nutrition, culminating in a bold pledge of increasing resources to $1 billion at the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit in December.

As a nutrition community, we ask that you demonstrate your commitment to helping all children have a better future by attending the N4G Summit in Tokyo. At the Summit, we urge you to pledge $1 billion for nutrition investments for FY23-25 across accounts that contribute to achieving the 2025 World Health Assembly (WHA) Nutrition Targets. This funding should include an additional $150 million a year for the Global Health-Nutrition sub-account and an additional

$100 million to be allocated across other accounts that support nutrition-sensitive programs or to support monitoring and evaluation of nutrition programs.

As always, additional funding for these important programs should not come at the expense of other life-saving humanitarian and poverty-reducing accounts. We also urge you to announce a commitment to increase transparency around nutrition funding, including a commitment to consistently use the new OECD nutrition policy marker to better track all funding supporting nutrition, and releasing on a publicly available website a detailed accounting of nutrition resources across all programs that feed into the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy.

At the N4G Summit, we ask that your Administration commit to align resources to meet the WHA 2025 Nutrition Targets with a focus on U.S. investments that contribute to increased coverage of key, evidence-based interventions, such as, vitamin A supplementation, breastfeeding support, micronutrient supplementation, and wasting treatment and prevention. We also urge your Administration to commit to strengthen your efforts to improve nutrition in adolescence and prioritize addressing the gender-specific and age-related nutrition needs of all women, especially pregnant women and adolescent girls. We ask as well that your Administration announce a robust learning agenda in the U.S. Global Nutrition Coordination Plan 2.0 and publicly publish a report on best practices in nutrition sensitive and specific interventions across development and humanitarian programming and how U.S. investments have and will continue to contribute to advancing on the 2025 WHA Nutrition Targets.

Finally, in light of 2022 representing the ten-year anniversary of the U.S. commitment to act on the call to end preventable maternal and child deaths, we urge you to commit to hosting a high-level event renewing and strengthening this commitment globally, recognizing nutrition as critical to child and maternal survival.

As you know, rates of malnutrition caused by the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising conflict, and the effects of climate change are reaching nearly unprecedented levels. According to a recent paper published in Nature, due to the pandemic, 283,000 more children under the age of five could die over the next two years if action is not taken to curb malnutrition rates – that equates to more than 250 children dying each day. The paper also finds that 13.6 million more children could be wasted (i.e. low weight for height) and 3.6 million more stunted (i.e. low height for age) due to the effects of the pandemic. In addition to the moral tragedy of children dying and suffering from a preventable cause, the nutrition crisis we are seeing around the world has serious economic impacts as well. Productivity losses could cost $44.3 billion. But by coming together with our partners and demonstrating leadership with a strong U.S. commitment at this year’s Nutrition for Growth Summit, we will save lives and create opportunity for millions of children and families.

Thank you again for leadership and support to help vulnerable children and families around the world have the chance for a better future. We look forward to working with your Administration.

Sincerely,

1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions
American Academy of Pediatrics
Bread for the World
Action Against Hunger
Alliance to End Hunger
CARE USA
Edesia
Food for the Hungry
HarvestPlus
John Snow, Inc. (JSI)
Micronutrient Forum
National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International
RESULTS
RISE Institute
Save the Children

On Child Health Day, New Focus on Grandparents as Caregivers

Dietary Guidelines highlight life stages; organizations join together to promote resources and support

October 4, 2021 (WASHINGTON DC) Today is the nation’s first Child Health Day since the Dietary Guidelines for Americans began providing nutrition recommendations by life stage, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, and toddlerhood. With more grandparents caring for grandchildren and continued research demonstrating the power of the earliest years for children’s future health and well-being, public health and child nutrition groups are providing additional resources and support for grandfamilies.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 is the first edition to provide guidance on healthy dietary patterns for every life stage from birth through older adulthood. According to DietaryGuidelines.gov, this edition also emphasizes that it is never too early or too late to eat healthy.

In particular, infancy and toddlerhood provide an important opportunity to build long-lasting healthy habits, including a healthy beverage pattern. What children drink during the early years can help set them on a path for healthy growth and development.

“During the first 1,000 days, the brain grows more quickly than at any other time in a person’s life. Supporting the health and nutrition of families and children during this window of opportunity must be part of any strategy to promote health, reduce disparities and enable future generations to lead better lives,” said Blythe Thomas, 1,000 Days Initiative Director.

Research in the fields of neuroscience, biology and early childhood development provide powerful insights into how nutrition, relationships, and environments in the 1,000 days between a person’s pregnancy and a child’s 2nd birthday shape future outcomes.

A recent study from Generations United, Family Matters: Multigenerational Living Is on the Rise and Here to Stay, finds that the number of Americans living in a multigenerational household with three or more generations has nearly quadrupled over the past decade, with a dramatic increase of 271 percent from 2011 to 2021 (7% vs. 26%). Generations United estimates 66.7 million adults ages 18+ in the U.S. are living in a multigenerational household; that’s more than 1 in 4 Americans.

To support grandparents and older adults who are caring for young children, or who love and support pregnant and birthing people and their children, many resources are available, including:

The new videos emphasize small steps grandparents can take to nourish the young kids in their lives, including avoiding serving sugary drinks and instead offering water or plain milk.

“With the rise of multigenerational families, we must recognize and support grandparents in their varied and essential roles in the lives of their grandchildren. Whether raising the children full time, providing care while parents work, or regularly visiting with them, grandparents can be critical figures in supporting their grandchildren’s healthy habits,” said Jaia Lent, Deputy Executive Director and Co-Director of the National Center on Grandfamilies, Generations United.

“Early childhood is an important time to start shaping nutrition habits and promoting healthy beverage consumption,” said Megan Lott, MPH, RD, Deputy Director of Healthy Eating Research. “Grandparents are such an important part of many families, playing an active role in caring for and helping to raise young children. These new videos are a great way to share evidence-based recommendations on what young children should be drinking as part of a healthy diet with this key audience.”

Since the first edition was published in 1980, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have provided science-based advice on what to eat and drink to promote health, reduce risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs.

Child Health Day became a national day of observance in 1928 when President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the day at the request of Congress. Ever since then, American presidents have issued proclamations in observance of this day in hopes of rallying the country to support children’s health.

About 1,000 Days

1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions, leads the fight to build a strong foundation for mothers, children, and families to thrive. The first 1,000 days from pregnancy to age 2 offer a window of opportunity to create a healthier and more equitable future for all pregnant, birthing, postpartum, and parenting people and their children. Our mission is to make health and well-being during the first 1,000 days a policy and funding priority, both in the U.S. and around the world. We envision a world in which families everywhere get the nutrition, care, and support they need. Our work is inspired and informed by families who strive every day to give their children a strong start to life.  Learn more at www.ThousandDays.org and follow us at Facebook.com/1000Days, Twitter.com/1000Days.

About Generations United:
For more than three decades, Generations United has been the catalyst for policies and practices stimulating cooperation and collaboration among generations, evoking the vibrancy, energy and sheer productivity that result when people of all ages come together. We believe that we can only be successful in the face of our complex future if generational diversity is regarded as a national asset and fully leveraged. The National Center on Grandfamilies is a critical part of Generations United’s mission and strives to enact policies and promote programs that support relative caregivers and the children they raise. www.gu.org

About Healthy Eating Research Center

Healthy Eating Research is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The program supports research on policy, systems, and environmental change strategies with strong potential to promote the health and well-being of children, and that advance health equity in the areas of nutrition, nutritional disparities, and food security. https://healthyeatingresearch.org/

 

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