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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 140  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 795-796

Nutrition and growth

Department of Pediatrics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh 160 012, India

Date of Web Publication3-Mar-2015

Correspondence Address:
Sunit Singhi
Department of Pediatrics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Bharti B, Singhi S. Nutrition and growth. Indian J Med Res 2014;140:795-6

How to cite this URL:
Bharti B, Singhi S. Nutrition and growth. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Jan 26];140:795-6. Available from:

Nutrition and growth, R. Shamir, D. Turck, M. Phillip, editors (Karger, Basel, Switzerland) 2013. 194 pages. Price: US $ 231.00 / CHF 196.00

ISBN 978-3-318-02265-0

Using the latest epidemiologic and clinical research, this book explores various topics in the field of nutrition and growth. It is the 106 th volume of the series World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics and includes subjects as diverse as nutritional biomarkers for growth outcomes on one hand and interaction between weight and medications in psychological illnesses of children on the other. The contents of the book are evidence based and summarize existing guidelines of the ESPGHAN (European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) Committee on Nutrition and Institute of Medicine of National Academics. An integrated approach, i.e., combination of animal and human (both observational and experimental) has been considered as most appropriate by the authors.

Each chapter of the book is concisely summarized using an abstract at the beginning which makes it easier for the readers to understand various concepts. It takes a topical multi-disciplinary approach to physiological, biochemical, genetic, sociological and developmental factors that affect growth and nutrient requirements and recommendations at various stages of life. It is believed that investing in better nutrition in the first 1,000 days window will help families, communities and countries to save lives, reduce risk of diseases and their related human and economic burden. A longer 'life course' view of growth faltering described by Prentice et al, however, extends the current emphasis on first 1000 days to a longer period for nutritional interventions. Index of growth monitoring as an early and valid diagnostic tool for a myriad of health outcomes has been well portrayed. Endocrinological update for nutritional biomarkers is succinct and informative. The chapter on reference growth charts to monitor growth and optimal nutrition in children is particularly well written and updated. Reference has been made to the launching of UK-WHO growth charts in 2009 by United Kingdom. These have been combined with birth data for gestation 23 to 42 weeks from the UK 1990 growth reference, as the WHO dataset did not include preterm infants.

The chapter highlighting the impact of prenatal nutrition on skeletal development demonstrates the influence of early environment on the skeleton in utero and beyond to the attainment of peak body mass. It clearly highlights the need for novel interventions to optimize peak bone mass through interventions early in life. The chapter highlighting bone mineral accretion in childhood and adolescence has major clinical and public health importance.

Paediatric obesity on the other hand, is rapidly becoming a frequent chronic condition in many continents such as America, Europe and the Middle East. Most paediatricians are, actually concerned about obesity in their young patients but most feel unprepared, ill-equipped and technically ineffective to tackle this problem. In this regard, the book empowers the readers about current knowledge that will help them evaluate emerging trends and prepares them to mitigate new challenges in the modern nutritional landscape.

The scientific content unfortunately does not represent complete scope of the topics related to paediatric nutrition and growth. Given the important relationship between HIV, nutrition and growth of children living with HIV, its omission makes the book incomplete for the readers from resource-poor settings.

There has been little apparent attempt by the editors to present the topics in a logical order. Instead the topics tend to jump out in an arbitrary fashion, especially in the latter half of the book. For example, 'Optimal growth of Preterm Infants' is followed by 'Nutrition and Growth in Inflammatory Bowel Disease'; 'Body Composition in Young Children with Cystic Fibrosis', and 'Interaction Between Weight and Medications in Psychological Illnesses' are followed again by 'Prematurity and Bone health'. Quality and content of papers are variable and there is lack of cohesiveness. Some of the chapters such as Nutrition and Growth in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Pathophysiology and Management of Abnormal Growth in Children with Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease have overlapping information.

Despite the shortcomings, this book can serve as a useful reference to paediatricians, nutritionists, neonatologists and other experts and specialists in the field of child development and nutrition.


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