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Protein Malnutrition

Richard D. Semba (2016). The Rise and Fall of Protein Malnutrition in Global Health:


“The UN Protein Advisory Group was established in 1955. International conferences were largely concerned about protein malnutrition in children. By the early 1970s, UN agencies were ringing the alarm about a ‘protein gap'. In The Lancet in 1974, Donald McLaren branded these efforts as ‘The Great Protein Fiasco', declaring that the ‘protein gap' was a fallacy. The following year, John Waterlow, the scientist who led most of the efforts on protein malnutrition, admitted that a ‘protein gap' did not exist and that young children in developing countries only needed sufficient energy intake. The emphasis on protein malnutrition waned. It is recently apparent that quality protein and essential amino acids are missing in the diet and may have adverse consequences for child growth and the reduction of child stunting.”

Dror DK, Allen LH: The importance of milk and other animal-source foods for children in low-income countries. Food Nutr Bull 2011;32:227-243.

Hoppe C, Mølgaard C, Michaelsen KF: Cow's milk and linear growth in industrialized and developing countries. Annu Rev Nutr 2006;26:131-173.

Ricardo UAUY, Anura KURPAD, Kwaku TANO-DEBRAH, Gloria E. OTOO, Grant A. AARON, Yasuhiko TORIDE, Shibani GHOSH

Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Infant and Young Child Nutrition: Protein and Amino Acid Needs and Relationship with Child Growth.

“Malnourished children showed poor performance on tests of higher cognitive functions like cognitive flexibility, attention, working memory, visual perception, verbal comprehension, and memory. Malnutrition affects brain growth and development and hence future behavioral outcomes [37]. School-age children who suffered from early childhood malnutrition have generally been found to have poorer IQ levels, cognitive function, school achievement and greater behavioral problems than matched controls and, to a lesser extent, siblings. The disadvantages last at least until adolescence.”

Kar et al., 2008. Cognitive development in children with chronic protein energy malnutrition. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 4.

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