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The term “failure to thrive” was first used in 1899 to describe an infant with decreased growth after being weaned from the breast. The term is NOT a diagnosis, but rather a sign. Problems with the term “failure to thrive” include that the term is too broad, and that it often causes unneeded anxiety.
Professor Schwenk, Professor of Paediatrics and the Maya Clinic College of Medicine (USA) discusses some alternative, more specific terms which describe different patterns of length and weight change for infants. He also outlines approaches to diagnosis and evaluation of infants who are failing to maintain their length and/or weight percentiles.
Page authorised by Head of School, School of Food and Nutrition
Last updated on Tuesday 16 August 2016