Zinc Nutrition in Children Who Fail to Thrive

  • Patrick H. Casey
  • William R. Collie
  • William M. Blakemore


An interactional causal model for failure to thrive (FTT), depicted in Figure 1, undergirds our clinical and research thinking with children who fail to thrive (Casey, 1983). Several aspects of these interactions have been addressed at this conference. The focus for this chapter is one corner of the model: undernutrition. Bithoney has stated that a common organic problem in all children who fail to thrive is one of malnutrition (Bithoney & Rathbun, 1983). We also believe that nutritional deficiencies play a major role in the pathophysiology of these children. Medical and nutritional scientists who evaluate children with malnutrition and FTT typically examine nutrition in terms of calories consumed, and the diet’s adequacy of the major food types of protein, carbohydrates and fat. The focus of this chapter will be on one specific nutritional deficiency: the trace mineral, zinc.


Zinc Deficiency Plasma Zinc Middle Class Family Hair Zinc Head Start Program 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bithoney, W.G., Rathbun, J.M. Failure to thrive. In W.B. Levine, W.C. Carey, A.D. Crocker & R.J. Gross (Eds.) Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1983, 557–572.Google Scholar
  2. Blakemore, W.M., Casey, P.H., Collie, W.R. Simultaneous determination of 10 elements in waste water, plasma, and bovine liver by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry with electrothermal atomization. Analytical Chemistry, 1984, 56, 1376–1379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buzina, R. et al. Zinc nutrition and taste acuity in school children with impaired growth. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1980, 33, 2262–2266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Casey, P.H. Failure to thrive: A reconceptualization. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 1983, 4, 63–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Casey, P.H., Bradley, R., Wortham, B. Social and non-social home environments of infants with non-organic failure to thrive. Pediatrics, 1984, 73, 348–353.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Casey, P.H., Bradley, R., Wortham, B. Management of children with failure to thrive in a rural ambulatory setting: Epidemiology and growth outcomes. Clinical Pediatrics, 1984, 23, 325–330.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chase, H.P., Hambridge, K.M. et al. Low vitamin A and zinc concentrations in Mexican-American migrant children with growth retardation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1980, 33, 2346–2349.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Chestess, J.K., Quarterman, J. Effects of zinc deficiency on food intake and feeding pattern of rats. British Journal of Nutrition, 1970, 42, 1061–1065.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Golden, M.H.N., Golden, B.E. Effect of zinc supplementation on the dietary intake rate of weight gain, and energy cost of tissue deposition in children recovering from severe malnutrition. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1981, 34, 900–908.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Gordon, E.F. et al. Zinc metabolism: Basic, clinical and behavioral aspects. Journal of Pediatrics, 1981, 99, 341–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hambridge, M. Trace element deficiencies in childhood. In R.M. Suskind (Ed.) Textbook of Pediatric Nutrition. New York: Raven Press, 1981, 163–177.Google Scholar
  12. Hambridge, K.M. et al. Low levels of zinc in hair, anorexia, poor growth, and hyoguesia in childhood. Pediatric Research, 1972, 6, 868–874.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hambridge, K.M., Walvarens, P.A. et al. Zinc nutrition of preschool children in the Denver Head Start Program. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1976, 29, 734–738.Google Scholar
  14. Johnson, P.E., Evans, G.W. Relative zinc availability in human breastmilk, infant formulas, and cow’s milk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1978, 31, 416–419.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Krebs, N.F., Hambridge, K.M., Walvarens, P.A. Increased food intake of young children receiving a zinc supplement. American Journal of Diseases of Children, 1984, 138, 270–273.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Lonnerdal, B. et al. The effect of individual components of soy formula and cow’s milk formula on zinc bioavailability. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1984, 40, 1064–1066.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Neldner, K.H., Hambridge, K.M. Zinc therapy of acrodermatitis enteropathica. New England Journal of Medicine, 1975, 292, 879–883.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Prasad, A.S. Discovery and importance of zinc in human nutrition. Federation Proceedings, 1984, 43, 2829–2834.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Reinhold, J.G. et al. Effects of purified phytate and phytate-rich bread upon metabolism of zinc, calcium, phosphorous, and nitrogen in man. Lancet, 1973, J., 283–288.Google Scholar
  20. Solomons, N.W. Zinc and copper in human nutrition. In Nutrition in the 1980’s: Constraints on Our Knowledge. New York: A.R. Liss, Inc., 1981, 97–127.Google Scholar
  21. Solomons, N.W. Zinc bioavailability implications for pediatric nutrition. Pediatric Basics, 1982, 33, 4–11.Google Scholar
  22. Solomons, N.W., Jacobs, R.A. Studies on the bioavailability of zinc in humans. Effect of heme and nonheme iron on the absorption of zinc. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1981, 34, 475–478.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Tasmon-Jones, C. Zinc deficiency states. Advances in Internal Medicine, 1980, 26, 97–115.Google Scholar
  24. Walvarens, P.A., Hambridge, K.M. Growth of infants fed a zinc supplemented formula. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1976, 29, 1114–1121.Google Scholar
  25. Walvarens, P.A., Krebs, N.F., Hambridge, K.M. Linear growth of low-income preschool children receiving a zinc supplement. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1983, 38, 195–201.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick H. Casey
    • 1
    • 2
  • William R. Collie
    • 1
    • 2
  • William M. Blakemore
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Toxicological ResearchFood and Drug AdministrationUSA

Personalised recommendations