What Are Some Ways to Stunt Growth?


Quick Answer

Growth can be stunted by inadequate nutrition, recurring infections, intestinal parasites and in rare cases, psychological stress. Low birth weight may be a cause for delayed growth during the first two years of a child's life, according to Eugene Lewit and Nancy Kerrebrock publishing at The Future of Children.

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Full Answer

Growth may be stunted by a combination of factors, according to Lewit and Kerrebrock. Examples include a combination of intestinal parasites with recurring infections, or low birth weight in conjunction with inadequate nutrition, particularly if the low birth weight was due to nutritional deficiencies on the part of the mother during pregnancy.

Poverty often plays a role in stunting growth due to the relationship between poverty and the ability to obtain healthy nutrition. Lewit and Kerrebrock determined that growth-stunting rates among children in poverty are double the standard rate. They also point out that while there are a number of federal programs in place to help supplement nutrition for children in poverty, there is still evidence of both malnutrition and stunted growth among children enrolled in these programs. Finally, their research shows that stunted growth due to malnutrition can cause significant problems for the cognitive ability of affected children, affecting both the physical and mental potential of the child for the worse.

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