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The discussion was opened by Dr. Katz who stated that on one hand it was difficult to define malnutrition precisely but not difficult to diagnose it; on the other hand, there were precise means for detecting sepsis, but they could not be implemented in most developing countries with high rates of malnutrition, and therefore it was difficult to diagnose the infection. Dr. Mata responded that one way to determine the function of nutrition is to see if there is correlation between nutritional intervention and an improvement consequent to that intervention in predetermined measurements of health. Dr. Kass agreed, but pointed out that it is important to recognize means of achieving beneficial results without necessarily being able to attack the fundamental cause. He added that a great deal of progress in medicine has been achieved by attacking only secondary causes. For example, he continued, one could set up a controlled pilot
Summarized Discussion of Session IV. Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(5):577. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120420033011