The First 1,000 Days: A Critical Window of Opportunity for Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health in the United States

Carol Dreibelbis's picture
Call for Papers
March 1, 2022
United States
Subject Fields: 
Health and Health Care, Public Health, Public Policy

American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), in collaboration with 1,000 Days, intends to publish a special issue exploring the importance of the 1,000-day window from pregnancy to age 2 for maternal and child nutrition and health in the United States.

The first 1,000 days is a critical time for human growth and development. Optimal nutrition during this time is essential for maternal health and child survival, healthy growth and brain development, and lifelong health. The goal of this special issue is to illuminate the challenges and solutions to ensuring optimal nutrition for all mothers and young children in the United States. The supplement will highlight how policies, systems, and environments affect the nutrition of mothers and children during the first 1,000 days. It will also summarize the state of the science and research needs related to maternal and child nutrition in the United States.

Original research, systematic reviews, essays, and editorials are invited. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: maternal diet and nutrition during pregnancy and lactation; infant and young child feeding; community and workplace nutrition supports (e.g., lactation support, home visiting, doula care, workplace accommodations); and federal, state, local, and organizational policies and programs that support mothers and young children in the 1,000-day window (e.g., paid family and medical leave, federal nutrition programs including WIC and SNAP, Medicaid, child care). Papers should approach these topics through a public health lens; clinical or treatment studies are not of interest. Papers may (but are not required to) explore lessons learned from the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but results should be relevant beyond the current pandemic.

The following areas are of special interest:

  • Current issues in equitable access to nutritious foods and optimal breastfeeding in the United States and related short- and long-term health outcomes, and proven policies and other solutions to eliminate inequities and health disparities;
  • Gaps and successes in global maternal and child nutrition interventions in comparison to US approaches, and proven strategies that can facilitate cross-learning and improvement; and
  • Gaps in knowledge and surveillance of maternal and child nutrition during the 1000-day window in the United States.

Potential authors should visit the AJPH website to review the Instructions for Authors and specific guidelines for the various types of manuscripts. Importantly, submissions must include a cover letter formatted as requested in the Instructions for Authors. In all manuscripts, the number of words, references and tables/figures must correspond to a specific AJPH article format. All manuscripts will undergo standard peer review by the AJPH editors and peer referees as defined by AJPH policy. Manuscripts must be submitted to AJPH by March 1, 2022, via the online submission system at For additional information about this supplement, contact: Dr. Ruth Petersen at

CDC Guest Editor: Ruth Petersen, MD, MPH, Director, CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
AJPH Editor: Stella M. Yu, ScD, MPH

Contact Info: 

Please contact Carol Dreibelbis, U.S. Policy and Research Analyst, 1,000 Days with any questions.