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Nutrition in Infancy. By Brian Wharton. (Pp 45; £5.00 paperback.) British Nutrition Foundation Briefing Paper, 1997. ISSN 1350 6854.
I am often asked by paediatric medical colleagues, dietitians, and nurses to recommend a text on infant feeding which is easy to read, comprehensive, but practical and contemporary. With this short briefing paper, written in Brian Wharton’s typically clear style, I believe I have found the ideal text.
This is a briefing paper which identifies the policies, practices, and problems of infant feeding in Britain. It is divided into five sections and covers nutritional physiology, breast feeding, bottle feeding, the older infant, and weaning. Each section on feeding follows a similar style discussing policy, legislation, the practicalities of why, when, and what of which milk or solid and finishes with a detailed debate of problems and potential solutions. It does not discuss the feeding of preterm or sick infants. Although a rapid and easy read, the paper encompasses the latest theoretical and practical aspects of infant feeding in more than a cursory way.
This text manages to incorporate all the latest recommendations given in the 1994 Department of Health Weaning and Weaning Dietas well as translating infant feeding legislation into an easily understood phenomenon. It discusses the rationale of some of the latest novel nutrients added to full term infant feeds. Although it contains infant feeding practice data, unfortunately it was published just before the availability of the latest Office for National Statistics figures on infant feeding practice, so is already slightly out of date. However, it does contain 13 excellent tables, many of which give helpful practical advice on different aspects of infant feeding and they provide a quick reference guide. For colleagues with a good practical knowledge of infant feeding, this will provide a useful reference tool. For the infant feeding novice, this text is an excellent starting point and is a must for all health professionals interested in infant nutrition.
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