ERIC Number: ED053811
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Reference Count: 0
Designs and Proposal for Early Childhood Research: A New Look: Malnutrition, Learning and Intelligence. (One in a Series of Six Papers).
Birch, Herbert G.; Grotberg, Edith H., Ed.
A survey of the evidence shows that some degrees of malnutrition is relatively widespread among poor children. However, the effects of inadequate nutrition on growth and mental development depend to a large extent on the severity, the timing (pre and postnatal), and the duration of the nutritional deprivation. The data are inadequate on the true prevalence of malnutrition among children in this country, but there is even less information about its onset or about its severity and quality. The absence of such knowledge reflects not the absence of the problem, but the lack of attention devoted to it. There is strong indication that nutritional factors at a number of different levels contribute significantly to depressed intellectual level and learning failure. Moreover, an adequate state of nutrition is necessary for good attention and for appropriate and sensitive responsiveness to the environment. Further, women who were malnourished as children are more likely to have disturbed pregnancies and children of low birth weight and increased risk of neurointegrative abnormality. It must be recognized, however, that improvement of nutrition alone cannot fully solve the problem of intellectual deficit and school failure. Rather, an overall effort to improve the condition of disadvantaged children is required. (Author/NH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, DC. Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.