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January 31, 1972

Maternal Efficiency and Nutrition

JAMA. 1972;219(5):622. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190310048022

To the Editor.—  Much again is being made of the poor nutritional status of American children, especially the disadvantaged. However, these "findings" have not provided answers except the usual generalities and clichés. Surprisingly, studies of growth and development continue to show that children keep growing taller, heavier, bigger, and brighter.Being the physician to the poor during the last half of the 1930s within my health department district in Cincinnati, I was impressed by the relationship of the state of the home environment and child nutrition. Variances in attitudes, aspirations, expectations, simple knowledge, and know-how were marked among mothers of both white and nonwhite poor. During the same period, differences observed within the middle-class populations of public and parochial schools and their parents were more subtle, but observable.The poor who moved into the first garden-apartment-type public housing were offered classes in sewing, purchasing, cooking, housekeeping, etc. Then, it was