July 1957

Pica: Survey of the Historical Literature as Well as Reports from the Fields of Veterinary Medicine and Anthropology, the Present Study of Pica in Young Children, and a Discussion of Its Pediatric and Psychological Implications.

Author Affiliations

By Marcia Cooper. Price, $3.75. Pp. 99. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 301-327 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield, Ill., 1957.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(1):174. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260070188029

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It is indeed a pleasure to encounter a book so charmingly and informatively written as this one. Almost half of the book is devoted to a comprehensive discussion of the historical aspect of pica drawn from writings of ancient, medieval, and modern times. This section would be most intriguing to anyone interested in medical history.

The remainder of the book is concerned with an elaboration of the thesis that pica is not something of purely historical interest, but has very real application in medicine today. Dr. Cooper draws her information from a study in Baltimore of 784 cases of children over 6 months of age, of whom 21.9% had evidence of the symptom of pica. She points out that these children almost exclusively had substandard diets. The implication is made that the poor nutrition is invariably an important factor in the production of this symptom. Feeding or nutritional problems had

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