The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, the only premier research institute dedicated to nutrition research in India will be a century old in 2018. NIN has contributed substantially to the country’s growth and development and has attained global recognition for its pioneering research on health and nutrition. To mark the beginning of NIN centenary celebrations the first International Conference on “Nutrition before, beyond and during first 1000 days of life-evidence and action” will be held at NIN from November 26th to 28th, 2017.
The first 1,000 days of an infant’s life offer a unique opportunity for optimizing health and nutrition outcomes. Impaired nutrition in the first 1000 days of life, from conception to two years’ age, has been recognized to have irreversible consequences. Sub-optimal growth and development during this period result in short term and long term consequences and more so to the development of brain and cognition. The fetal origin hypothesis states that, nutritional deprivation in early life and subsequent nutritional adequacy or excess leads to abdominal adiposity and early onset of adult chronic diseases. Developing countries are increasingly experiencing the twin problems of malnutrition among children in the first 1000 days and rapidly escalating epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adult life. While the first 1000 days of life is considered the golden and critical period of intervention, new research suggests the importance of preconception period as well as catch up growth beyond the first two years of life.
Evidence shows that solution to malnutrition relies on a collective effort in which all stakeholders like Governments, Researchers, Academia, Civil Societies, UN Organizations, NGOs, Development Banks and Business Organizations carry out specific roles in ensuring that interventions are delivered equitably and at scale. Thus, this International Conference is being organized in order to review the evidence on role of nutrition during the first 1000 days and even before and beyond this critical period to strengthen research, policy, program and practice.