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November 29, 1958


Author Affiliations

Columbia, Mo.

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Missouri Medical Center.

JAMA. 1958;168(13):1774-1777. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.63000130005010

Each generation has a genetic and environmental background of experience, even at birth. The constant improvement in livestock production has proved the practicality of research applied to reproductive problems in mammals. Human losses in the newborn period are now the third leading medical cause of death in the United States, and these statistics exclude stillbirth, miscarriage, and surviving damaged children. When prematurity, stillbirth, and the great tragedy, the surviving damaged child, are considered, together with unnecessary maternal illness and morbidity or death of liveborn children, we find ourselves faced with an immensely complex, yet perfectly interrelated, problem. No doubt exists about the role of nutrition in the problem, but solid evidence to support this belief has been singularly difficult to marshal. This presentation offers, first, some of the difficulties in studying the problem; second, the results of some studies of the past; and, third, some incompletely developed, yet fundamental concepts.