A longitudinal study of the growth of a cohort of 229 infants born in a rural area in Jamaica and followed to their 4th birthdays is described, and this paper reports analyses of the anthropometric measurements.
Moderate impairment of growth affected the majority of children and was most marked between the ages of 3 and 15 months. Severe impairment occurred in boys more often than girls and in this comm unity was rarely attributable to disease.
The concept of weight faltering has been investigated in some detail; failure to gain weight for a period of 6 months occurred in almost half the children but was not, by itself, a useful prognostic index of malnutrition; it occurred commonly in children of above average weight whose subsequent growth was normal.
The provision of intensive care at specially appointed child welfare clinics did not completely prevent the development of serious malnutrition.