Friday, July 19, 2019

Investments in early childhood nutrition

Recently it's been reported that use of a nutritional supplement in children (pre-natal through 2 years) has had a remarkable affect on their adulthood--intelligence, physical stature, etc.

"The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama developed a protein-energy supplement (Atole) and a protein-free control supplement (Fresco), which were offered to pregnant women and young children in four villages; two matched villages each. The investigators followed up 1139 (69%) of 1661 traceable participants from an original cohort of 2392 children enrolled in 1969–77."

This isn't the first or last time we'll see women and children in 3rd world and developing countries used as lab specimens. Many studies are never reported because of negative outcomes or poor designs. Birth control pills were developed and tested this way, and God only knows what long term effects that had on African women and later women on welfare who were the original guinea pigs back in the 1960s. Vitamin supplementation and vaccines were other products tested by pharmaceutical companies in developing countries before being marketed to the west.

However, although most moms are not dieticians or scientists, I think we could have figured out in 1969 (when my children were little) that providing one child with protein while depriving the other, one might see a difference in brain, muscle, skeletal, and intelligence development.

I have great respect for the author of this article, but strongly disagree with the casual way the study was done on which the costs are based.

Here is an earlier description from 2018.

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