Child malnutrition and deprivation - observations in Guatemala and Costa Rica
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Traditional populations consisting of small tribal groups living in close contact with nature may be virtually free from endemic malnutrition owing to the relative absence of infectious diseases. Transition toward modern ways of life and population growth, leading to crowding and underdevelopment, favours ,endemic malnutrition due to the interaction of malnutrition and infection. Although important features of the traditional culture -- breast-feeding, protective child rearing -- may remain intact, they are not enough, and such populations exhibit high rates of infectious disease, malnutrition and premature death. In modern industrialized societies, malnutrition often appears related to child abuse and neglect. Organic and metabolic forms are observed but social pathology appears to be the main determinant of most malnutrition observed. Prevention and control of malnutrition requires improvement of the environment and interventions applied in a holistic manner. Emphasis should be given to education and maternal technology, and to promotion of mother-infant interaction, breast-feeding, adequate weaning procedures and detection of factors that may lead to child deprivation and abuse. Improvement is feasible for most developing nations if social forces become conscious of the needed changes, but positive elements of traditional culture should be preserved.
artículo (arbitrado), Universidad de Costa Rica, Instituto de Investigaciones en Salud (INISA). 1980
- Nutrición 
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