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Lean, very light in weight, poor diet, causes for lack of growth ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1995
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My sister in laws son is 12 yrs old. Looks very lean. His weight is 21 kgs and height is 128 Cm. I can easily lift him with my single hand. He looks like a fifth class student but now he is studying 8th class. His father and mother has good height and growth. Is there any problem / disease in his bones or growth? One thing i found that his diet is very very poor. what are the probable reasons for this apart from diet?
Answered by Dr. Pragnesh Vachharajani 32 minutes later

Thanks for query.

You are true in that he is underweight by about 3-4kgs.

Growth and nutrition in children is a tricky issue.

There can be many reasons for his poor growth. Few common causes are as follows:

1. The most important is diet.
2. Reduced absorptions secondary to helminthic infestation like worm infestation
3. Underlying infection
4. Some hormonal deficiency

You should take him to pediatrician for complete assessment. A complete examination followed by blood tests like blood counts and others to rule out infection, nutritional deficiency, etc is advised. Nutrition deficiency if any needs to be corrected by a proper diet, vitamin supplements and calcium supplements. de-worming at every six months is also recommended as worm infestation is rampant in our society.

Please give him following:

1. Pulses like moong, chana etc. everyday or alternate day.
2. Eggs are very good, if he is a non vegetarian
3. More amount of fruits and salads daily
4. Avoid giving too much of chocolates or packed snacks, as they are very difficult to digest and will decrease his appetite for routine foods. They are more tasty but very bad for health and in nutritive content.

Make him play out door sports, as exercise stimulates growth.

I expect him to grow well with all this recommendations.

I hope this answers your query adequately. I will be available for follow up.

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