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February 23, 1970

Growth Failure, Deprivation, And Undereating

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore

JAMA. 1970;211(8):1379. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170080067027

To the Editor.—  The study by Whitten et al (209:1675, 1969) was well conceived and well executed. However, the choice of the title, "Evidence That Growth Failure From Maternal Deprivation Is Secondary to Undereating," and the conclusions reached are not justified from the data provided for the following reasons.Previous reports dealing with maternal deprivation have described a group of a different age range. Powell et al1 described a group ranging in age from 3.3 to 11.5 years while Silver et al2 reported patients ranging from 4 to 16 years. This is in contrast to the patients studied who ranged from 3 1/2 to 23 months.The patients in this report also show more weight retardation than in previous studies. The patients reported by Whitten et al had weights which averaged 25% less than expected for height while a series of 22 of our patients3 have