Explore BrainMass

Nutrition During Infancy

1. How important is nutrition during the stage of infancy in preventing future disease?

2. How might nutrition affect growth, development, and learning at the stage of infancy?

3. What are some current nutritional issues, such as obesity or malnutrition, that might affect children during the stage of infancy?

4. How do you verify that a nutrition website is credible?

Solution Preview

1.) Good nutrition in infancy is crucial. Good nutrition is the first line of defense against childhood diseases, bolstering the immune system. Poor nutrition can result in stunted growth and malnutrition. Malnutrition compromises an infant's immature immune system and increases the risk of future health problems. Should an infant be underfed, the infant will not be supplied enough nutrients to support bodily functions, growth, and development. Infants who are overfed will gain excessive weight and be at greater risk for obesity and weight related illnesses (diabetes, chronic illnesses) than infants fed at a balanced diet. Furthermore, it is also important to follow a careful program in feeding an infant: bottles should not be filled with juice and propped into a baby's mouth. Tooth decay may occur. In addition, "food preferences and eating habits begin to be formed during infancy" (Kim, Peterson, 2008) which can be an important precursor to nutrition throughout one's entire life.

2.) The nutrients an infant receives affect his or her brain development and impacts growth and learning. Research published in the "Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine" found that infants who receive poor nutrition are "less likely to do well on learning, thinking and memory tests when they become adults" (Kim, Peterson, 2008). It also appears that infant nutrition effects cognitive functioning and reading comprehension, as long as 30 years later, according to research comparing infants drinking protein-rich nutritional supplements to those drinking sugar water (Miller, 2011). Sadly, once the effects of under nutrition occur in infancy, the intellectual potential of the children is already damaged irrevocably (World Bank, 2012). Growth failure occurs almost ...

Solution Summary

This solution addresses the importance of nutrition during infancy in preventing future disease. It also describes how nurtition can affect growth, development, and learning. It outlines current nutritional issues, such as obesity or malnutrition, that might affect children during the stage of infancy. It explains how to verify if a nutrition website is credible. APA references are included.