Nutrition During Early Childhood

  • David L. Katz
  • Valentina Vinante
  • Kimberly Doughty
Reference work entry


Nutritional status between conception and the age of 5 years is strongly associated with growth and development. Children in this age group are uniquely vulnerable to the adverse effects of dietary deficiencies, both physiologically, because of high metabolic demand, and socially, because of lack of autonomy. This age group may be particularly vulnerable to the long-term sequelae of overnutrition as well, with increasing evidence that overweight early in life predicts later obesity – as does maternal overnutrition during pregnancy. The primary prevention of short- and long-term sequelae of both over- and undernutrition in this age group is achievable through the application of health and nutrition knowledge, the provision of social services, and the exercise of political will.


In utero growth and development is divided into the embryological period (approximately first 12 weeks following conception) during which organ systems are forming and the fetal period...



The technical assistance of Mrs. Michelle Pinto-Evans is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Katz
    • 1
  • Valentina Vinante
    • 2
  • Kimberly Doughty
    • 3
  1. 1.Yale-Griffin Prevention Research CenterDerbyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Yale-Griffin Prevention Research CenterDerbyUSA

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