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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Mar;1392(1):18-29. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13328.

Meeting nutritional needs in the first 1000 days: a place for small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, California.


The first 1000 days of life is marked by intense metabolic activity and tissue deposition. The increased nutritional needs during this period, and the challenges to meeting them, are often not understood or appreciated. Here, we describe the nutritional needs during the first 1000 days, highlight the challenges to meeting these needs in developing countries, outline intervention strategies, and examine the consumption of small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements (SQ-LNS) as a promising strategy. In low-income settings, the challenge to meeting nutritional needs during the first 1000 days is worsened by overreliance on cereal-based diets of low nutrient density and high prevalence of infections and infestations. Dietary diversification is the ideal long-term solution to nutritional deficiencies, but difficulties with obtaining adequate amounts of iron, zinc, and certain vitamins may still remain. Several other interventions are available, but applying them is often fraught with challenges, including cost and contextual factors limiting efficacy. Evidence suggests that SQ-LNS supplementation may help reduce inadequate gestational weight gain and promote fetal and child growth and development in some populations. More research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of SQ-LNS and other fortified products in different contexts and within integrated programs that address other determinants of maternal and child undernutrition.


home fortification; infants; interventions; lipid-based nutrient supplements; women

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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