Tuesday - October 27, 2020

60% of parents & parents-to-be do not realise that nutrition directly impacts a baby's growth and development during pregnancy

Bayer launches Mission 1000+ campaign to empower parents with knowledge about the role of nutrition in their baby’s development
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Parents’ diet has a big impact on baby’s future health

Basel, Switzerland, October 27, 2020 – Parents-to-be know diet is important when looking to have a baby, but many do not understand that poor nutrition – even prior to conception – can directly impact a baby’s growth and development. This is the key finding of new real-world data research released today by Bayer the maker of Elevit, the world’s most clinically studied prenatal brand.

• Whilst most people worldwide knew it was important to have more nutrients in their diet, 60% did not realise that nutrition directly impacts a baby's growth and development during pregnancy.(1)
• 75% of respondents were unaware that poor nutrition can have a negative impact on sperm quality.(2)
• Less than half (47%) knew you benefit from taking supplements beyond the first trimester and did not realise or did not know that supplements can provide support and complement diet also prior to conception, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.(3)

Mission 1000+: helping every baby have the best start in life

Evidence shows that establishing good nutrition during the first 1000 days of life (starting from conception) can positively influence life-long health. However, pregnancy is a nutritionally demanding time, and our research has made clear that women may not be getting the nutrients they need.

To help with this, Bayer is launching Mission 1000+ beyond, a new campaign to increase awareness and understanding amongst parents and parents-to-be about the role good nutrition plays in making sure a baby has the best start in life.

This campaign will include working with consumers, HCPs, policymakers and NGOs to improve nutritional knowledge worldwide, as well as empower parents and parents-to-be to make informed decisions to help their baby get the best start in life.

Ella Schaefer, a leading nutritional scientist at Bayer said, “As the global leader in prenatal supplements, we knew it was important to explore the level of understanding of the role nutrients can play in a child’s development.”

“The findings of this real-world data research – such as that once parents-to-be understood the importance of nutrition in the first 1000 days, 51% would change their diet or lifestyle – show how important it is to raise awareness of the first 1000 days.(4)

“At Elevit, we are committed to helping every baby get the best start in life. Therefore, we continue to invest in clinical trials to ensure the impact of our Elevit range is understood and verified. We have just completed two major clinical studies on Elevit 2 and Elevit 3, which prove the benefits of once-a-day supplementation to complement maternal diet and ultimately on a baby’s development.”

Nourishing the Future

Nourishing the Future is one of the largest real-world data research projects of its kind. It gathered feedback from 8,500 women (70%) and men (30%) of childbearing age in ten countries across the world. Areas examined included understanding of the importance of nutrition from conception through to birth and breastfeeding, the role of supplements throughout pregnancy, birth and early days of life, and differences in attitudes towards – and knowledge of – nutrition in both mums & dads, and mums & dads to be.

While most people in the research knew they needed nutrients in their diet as they embark on their parenting journey (ranging from 59% during the conception phase, to 73% during pregnancy and 68% during breastfeeding), many didn’t know where to get them from (diet or supplements) or why they were needed.(5)

Healthy diet: why, how and when?

Awareness of the extent to which more nutrients are needed in a mother-to-be’s diet was low – thirty-four (34%) of those surveyed believed that by eating enough fruit and vegetables, mothers-to-be could get the necessary nutrients to support the baby’s development.(6) Scientific research has however shown that due to the level of additional nutrients needed for a baby’s development, an effective way to be sure of getting the right level of especially micronutrients is through complementing the diet with specifically tailored supplements.

Overall, the global survey revealed great cultural diversity across the different countries, respondents in China were most aware of the need for additional supplements for both mums & dads-to-be and the benefits, which they could have for a child’s long-term development. Those surveyed in Germany were most likely to believe that diet alone would give enough nutrients when trying to conceive and during pregnancy.

It takes two

The understanding of the importance of nutrition for men looking to conceive was far lower than for women. Sixty-four percent (64%(7)) of people we spoke to were unaware that poor nutrition can impact female fertility against 70% of people who were unaware of the impact it could have on male fertility(8) and 75% who didn’t know it would impact sperm quality.(9)

An average of 46% respondents in Japan were most aware of the impact which nutrition could have on male fertility (39% were aware) whereas those in Egypt had the lowest understanding (21% were aware).(10)

Knowledge sparks change

The good news is that once parents and parents-to-be knew about the benefits of good nutrition in the first 1000 days, they wanted to know more and make changes to get the necessary nutrition. 51% said they would make changes to ensure they are increasing their nutritional intake.(11)

Notes to Editors

About the research
This research was commissioned by Elevit and undertaken by research agency Censuswide. The online survey was undertaken by 8500 respondents in the US, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and China (70% women/ 30% men). 6500 respondents were on the parenting journey (e.g. planning/ pregnant/ breastfeeding) and 2000 respondents were of reproductive age, but not yet on that journey.

While many questions were asked of all respondents to get the general view (n. 8500), some were focused on parents and parents-to-be (n.6500); those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or whose partner is (n.4500); or those who are breastfeeding, or whose partner is (n.2000).

The data was collected between June and July 2020.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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(1) Question 10, question asked was ‘What can poor nutrition have a negative impact on, if anything?’. 40% of respondents knew that poor nutrition could have a negative impact on a baby’s development during pregnancy. (Methodology, tick all that apply. Sample – all respondents.)

(2) Question 10, question asked was ‘What can poor nutrition have a negative impact on, if anything?’. 25% of respondents knew that poor nutrition could have a negative impact on sperm quality. (Methodology, tick all that apply. Sample – all respondents).

(3) Question 11 asked ‘Which of the following do you believe to be true or false?’ and tested the statement ‘you only need additional supplements during the first phase of pregnancy’. 30% of global respondents selected true and 23% didn’t know. (Methodology: tick 1 matrix, with respondents prompted to select 'true', 'false' or 'don't know‘. Sample: all respondents).

(4) Q15. What would you do differently in your pregnancy journey now you are aware of this information, if anything? 51% said they would improve their diet / eat a more nutrient-rich diet. (Methodology: tick all the apply list. Sample: respondents who are at the trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding stage. n.6,500).

(5) Q9. Do you think your everyday diet needs to change in terms of the amount of nutrients during any of the following stages of your pregnancy journey? Methodology: tick 1 matrix, asking respondents to select 'yes', 'no' or 'don't know' by stage of the parenting journey. Sample: all 8,500 respondents. 59% said their diet needed more nutrients, 14% didn’t know.

(6) Q11. Which of the following do you believe to be true or false? And tested the statement ‘If you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, you don’t need any additional supplements during pregnancy’. 34% of global respondents selected true and 20% didn’t know. (Methodology: tick 1 matrix, with respondents prompted to select 'true', 'false' or 'don't know‘. Sample: all respondents).

(7) Question 10, question asked was ‘What can poor nutrition have a negative impact on, if anything?’. 64% of respondents were not able to identify female fertility as something which poor nutrition could negatively impact. (Methodology, tick all that apply. Sample – all respondents.)

(8) Question 10, question asked was ‘What can poor nutrition have a negative impact on, if anything?’. 70% of respondents were not able to identify male fertility as something which poor nutrition could negatively impact. (Methodology, tick all that apply. Sample – all respondents.)

(9) Question 10, question asked was ‘What can poor nutrition have a negative impact on, if anything?’. 75% of respondents were not able to identify sperm quality as something which poor nutrition could negatively impact. (Methodology, tick all that apply. Sample – all respondents.)

(10) Question 6, question asked was ‘Q6. To what extent do you agree/disagree with the following statements regarding the pregnancy journey?’. 46% of selected ‘Only women need to prepare their bodies for conception’. (Methodology, tick all that apply. Sample – all respondents.)

(11) Q15. What would you do differently in your pregnancy journey now you are aware of this information, if anything? 51% selected ‘I would improve my diet/ nutrient intake’ (Methodology: tick all the apply list
Sample: respondents who are at the trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding stage. n.6,500)

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Jennifer Kaczmarek


Bayer Consumer Health, Consumer Health
Allergy, Analgesics, Cough & Cold, Cardio Aspirin (OTC)
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