Observations on nutritional marasmus in a newly rich nation.

Original article


Mamarbachi D, Pellett PL, Basha HM, Djani F.

Ecol Food Nutr. 1980;9(1):43-54.


A study was performed in a pediatric hospital in Tripoli, Libya where the familial backgrounds of 50 marasmic infants were compared with those of a group of 50 essentially healthy infants of similar age. Families with marasmic infants had more children but lived in smaller homes than the comparison families. Total income was similar in both sets of families and major consumer items such as television sets, cars, and refrigerators were widely present in both groups. Families with marasmic infants, however, had less literate mothers who tended to breastfeed for shorter periods and to feed purchased pureed baby foods more frequently. The causation of marasmus in these circumstances is probably unhygienic infant feeding despite the availability of clean water and modern kitchen facilities. All 3 factors, adequate housing, adequate income, and an adequately educated mother appear to be necessary simultaneously before infantile marasmus can be prevented.

Keywords: Observations on nutritional marasmus in a newly rich nation.