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October 2022

Br Med J. 1979 Feb; 1(6159): 296-8.

Malnutrition in infants receiving cult diets: a form of child abuse.

Roberts IF, West RJ, Ogilvie D, Dillon MJ.

Severe nutritional disorders, including kwashiorkor, marasmus, and rickets, were seen in four children and were due to parental food faddism, which should perhaps be regarded as a form of child abuse. All disorders were corrected with more normal diets and vitamin supplements. In view of the potentially serious consequences of restricted diets being fed to children, families at risk should be identified and acceptable nutritional advice given. When children are found to be suffering from undernutrition due to parental food faddism a court order will normally be a necessary step in providing adequate treatment and supervision.


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