ERIC Number: ED133395
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Malnutrition, Learning, and Behavior.
Read, Merrill S.; Felson, David
The problems of those children who are chronically malnourished, the cultural environment of malnutrition, and the extent to which children are temporarily or permanently handicapped in learning because of malnutrition are discussed in this booklet. It also describes hunger and its effects on child development. The topics addressed are: definition of malnutrition, the prevalence of malnutrition, the brain, severe malnutrition and learning, chronic malnutrition and learning, deficiency and learning, hunger and learning, the cycle of malnutrition, and rehabilitation. It is concluded that prolonged severe malnutrition during gestation or early infancy when the brain is rapidly growing can lead to permanent behavioral handicaps. Such severe malnutrition is quite infrequent in the United States. The effects of moderate or chronic malnutrition are not as clearly understood. Adverse behavioral consequences of chronic undernutrition seem to lie in the areas of attentiveness, curiosity, activity, and social responsiveness rather than in learning itself. The consequences of iron deficiency are likely to be in these same areas. The incidence of hunger among children is nearly impossible to measure. Although it does not permanently affect the brain, hunger probably adversely affects learning. Corrective policies must include insuring preventive health care beginning with the pregnant mother and extending through childhood. (Author/AM)
Descriptors: Anemia, Behavior Patterns, Child Care, Child Development, Child Rearing, Child Welfare, Eating Habits, Food, Health, Health Conditions, Health Facilities, Health Needs, Hunger, Learning Motivation, Learning Problems, Learning Processes, Nutrition, Perinatal Influences, Physical Health, Prenatal Influences, Special Health Problems
NICHD Office of Research Reporting, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20014 (Gratis)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD. Center for Research for Mothers and Children.