Maria Sophia Aguirre, professor of economics, was quoted in an article on a congressional hearing, "The First One Thousand Days: Development Aid Programs to Bolster Health and Nutrition," at which she discussed development from conception to age two and the impact of quality of life in these early stages on further development.. See the article below.

From: Catholic News Agency Date: April 1, 2014 Author: Adelaide Mena

... Sophia Aguirre, chair of Catholic University of America's Integral Economic Development Management Program, advocated "placing the family at the center" of development solutions. Saying it is a "long-term investment" solution.

Aguirre said ensuring "household food access, good health and hygiene conditions, as well as good care and health practices for infant and pregnant mothers" safeguards the ability of future generations to work toward their own development.

Failing to guarantee proper nutrition and development in utero and in early childhood, she added, "has been found to be also related to dementia, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes among other illnesses."

Aguirre continued, saying these phenomena affect not only "those who suffer them, but it places an economic burden on the family members, communities, and finances of the country to which they belong."

"These burdens can be avoided through investing in effective preventive initiatives."

Aguirre stressed that typically, "these needs are first met in the family," and that aid programs should focus on helping households as a whole: "Healthy families are the key to providing stability during this early stage of life." ...

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