February 1976

Famine and Human Development: The Dutch Hunger Winter 1944-1945

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital Medical Center 300 Longwood Ave Boston, MA 02115


by Zena Stein, et al, 284 pp, 44 illus, $17.95, Oxford University Press Inc, 1974.

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(2):222-223. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120030112028

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Four faculty members of the Department of Public Health, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, have employed a brilliant idea to produce some valuable information, but they present it in an odd and disappointing book. Because their analyses may be of special value to statisticians and epidemiologists, I hope to read the opinions of such experts elsewhere. But the pediatrician, the obstetrician, and the perinatologist may find the approach of the authors confusing, if not actually confused, and the book far too long for what they will learn from it.

Drs Stein and Susser and their colleagues saw in the sharply localized and precisely dated famine of the 1944 to 1945 "Hunger Winter" in major Dutch cities an "experiment of opportunity" perhaps capable of determining the effects, if any, on the intelligence of infants conceived or born during that period. In 1947, I described the immediate and definite

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