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October 4, 2011 - Press Release
Nutrition Takes Center Stage

Kathy Spahn, President and CEO of Helen Keller International attended both the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and the 6th annual Clinton Global Initiative last week to showcase the importance of nutrition-centered programming.

For infants and children under the age of two, the consequences of under-nutrition are particularly severe and often irreversible. Proper nutrition, especially during the first 1,000 days from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday, can have a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn, and rise out of poverty. It can also shape a society’s long-term health, stability and prosperity.

Ms. Spahn participated in Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's panel about "Women and Agriculture: A Conversation on Improving Global Food Security," moderated by The New York Times columnist Nick Kristof. Ms. Spahn explained the difference between calories and nutrition and how including nutritional components in agricultural projects is essential to ensure good health: "You need food with vitamins and minerals in it, what we call micronutrients. A lot of staple crops that we're talking about growing in larger quantities – maize, rice, cassava – provide energy in their calories, but they lack micronutrients."


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