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January 14, 1961

Protein Requirements of Full-Term Infants

JAMA. 1961;175(2):114-118. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040020015006c

Protein requirements for full-term infants are determined by the complex interaction of many factors. These factors are best understood within the clearly defined framework of three key concepts: the full-term infant, requirements, and protein.

Full-Term Infant.—  Let us consider first the full-term infant. This term implies that the infant has a birth weight of more than 2,500 Gm. (5 lb. 8 oz.) and that he has just arrived in the world as a separate individual. There are many things that we do not know about him. His growth potential is unknown. He may have an undiscovered congenital anomaly.Although newborn infants are not a standard product, their characteristics as a group are predictable statistically. Variations may occur in body composition, but if their mothers are healthy and adequately nourished, this variability will be relatively small. In the whole population of the United States or the whole world, variability will be

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