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May 23, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(21):1796-1797. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720470050013

The appetite of children is normally good. Complaints of loss of appetite are not readily correlated as a rule with definite objective signs of physical or physiologic abnormality; hence they present a problem of considerable difficulty to parents and their medical advisers. Anorexia has been defined as a subjective complaint of constant loss of appetite persisting long enough to cause objective signs of malnutrition. According to Bartlett's1 studies at the Massachusetts General Hospital, anorexia far exceeds all other presenting symptoms in its incidence in children seen in the outpatient department. The five commonest reasons for bringing children to the outpatient clinic were loss of appetite, cough or cold, physical examination for admission to public school, pallor, and underweight. Such facts offer a challenge that has been answered in various ways in recent years. The psychologists have made diverse proposals regarding the establishment of habits. Doubtless this aspect of the

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