Minor G, Yamamoto S, Cekola P, Cohen SS, Huhman MB, Araujo Torres K. 2020. Meeting nutritional needs of the enterally-fed child with neurological impairment. J Clin Nutr Dietet 6(4):3.
To determine whether the recommended nutritional intake of moderately to severely neurologically impaired children is congruent with current growth parameter expectations.
Observational cross-sectional study at a children’s hospice and a tertiary care children’s hospital. Medically stable enterally fed children followed by the palliative care team underwent anthropometric assessment and chart review for diagnosis, intake and medications. Intakes, guidelines and recommendations were compared.
Intakes were less than recommended. All children were <50th percentile weight-for-age, with many <3rd percentile. Fourteen of 15 were in higher percentiles for absolute and relative body fat.
Recommended dietary intakes were not achieved by these children. Despite this, measures of body fat indicate adequate intake. Low weight values may reflect diagnosis-related growth stunting or decreased muscle mass and bone density from immobility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Georgia, USA) weight-for-age and body mass index are not suitable measures of adequate intake in this group of children.