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MALNUTRITION


EFFECTS OF MALNUTRITION - GROWTH DELAYS AND INTERNATIONAL ADOPTEES

Growth delays are common among international adoptees. Many have low birth weights, although these are difficult to interpret in the absence of (reliable) information about gestational age. Malnutrition may develop or worsen during institutional life. Small size at birth, intercurrent medical problems (recurrent infections, for example), insufficient calories, and lack of nurturing physical contact all contribute to ongoing malnutrition. Many international adoptees are malnourished at arrival.

Multiple factors contribute to malnutrition among institutionalized children. Duration of orphanage confinement is an important variable. In three distinct populations of adoptees (Romanian, Chinese, Russian), length of institutionalization related directly to linear growth lags.

 

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