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Adequate Nutrient Intakes for Infancy

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To reduce the enormous loss of life of children younger than fi ve years, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants should be fed breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life and that breastfeeding should continue for 18 months or longer. Complementary foods should not be introduced until a child is six months old and the amounts should be increased gradually until they are eating a typical family food. These recommendations were discussed in the previous two issues of Sight and Life magazine.1,2 The nutritional recommendations for infancy are promoted to enable a child entering its preschool years to be healthy and grow well. The recommendations however may not be adequate for children in the developing world. Child growth has been used as an indicator of undernutrition for decades and regretfully in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, stunting affects 27% of children under fi ve years.3 Stunting is typically defined as ≤ 2 standard deviations (SD) below the median of height-forage, based on WHO child growth standards.4 Stunting, anemia, and poor vitamin A status are key risk factors for diminished survival, poor child and adult health, and reduced cognitive development.5–7 In this article I look at some of the information suggesting that additional nutrients above the Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI) for children 6–59 months are necessary to support child growth in low- and middle-income countries.

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Key Details

Year 2013
Authors David I Thurnham
Language English
Keywords
DOI https://doi.org/10.52439/RGOH4255
DOI Number 10.52439/RGOH4255
ISBN
ISSN

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