June 1981

Diets for Children and Adolescents: How Much Protein?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Frances Stern Nutrition Center New England Medical Center Hospital 185 Harrison Ave Boston, MA 02111

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(6):579. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130300076032

In Reply.—Dr Cunningham and Ms Mancini-Ford contend that protein intakes that are 19% of all calories are potentially harmful for normal children or adolescents. In my opinion, they are neither harmful nor beneficial to these persons. Dr Cunningham and Ms Mancini-Ford cite evidence for harm to premature infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women, and those suffering from compromised liver or kidney function, all of whom were specifically excluded in the article. The menus I presented are unsuitable in a number of respects for these people.

I am unaware of evidence to indicate that the protein intakes specified, when coupled with liberal intakes of calcium1 and pyridoxine, as they were in the menus presented, pose risks of ill health to normal children over 5 years of age or to adolescents, nor do Dr Cunningham and Ms Mancini-Ford cite data that demonstrate that they can be harmful.

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