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Poor Weight Gain - Causes

  • Inadequate food intake: the child shows reduced food intake, resulting in the following inadequacies:
    • low iron
    • low vitamins
    • low proteins
    • low calcium
  • Failure to assimilate or inability to absorb and retain nutrients, due to two main reasons:
    • food intolerance
      • gluten sensitivity; wheat or proteins causing stomach sickness
      • lactose intolerance; unable to tolerate milk and milk products such as curd, cheese or milk in any other form
    • medical reasons
      • worm infestations
      • frequent illnesses such as diarrhoea, fever and respiratory allergies
      • food allergies due to colours and preservatives in the food
      • thyroid dysfunction
      • tuberculosis
      • genetic diseases, such as Down syndrome and inborn error of metabolism
      • premature or preterm babies
      • certain medications that can interfere with the absorption of food
      • type 1 diabetes
      • heart diseases
  • Psychological and behavioural problems:
    • mood swings
    • mood disorders
    • risky behaviour
    • stubborn, obstinate children throwing temper tantrums
    • difficult child
    • disobedient, angry and irritable children

Reasons behind poor weight gain in children are as follows:

  • Parents have inadequate knowledge about the daily food requirement according to the age of the child.
  • Eating amidst distractions, such as the TV or a quarrel in the house.
  • Forceful feeding, such as punishing the child physically or verbally for not eating food.
  • The child is made to eat in a hurry.
  • No encouragement is given to eat healthy food.
  • Lot of family outings involve eating junk and fast foods.
  • Parents are either too strict or too yielding to the demands of their children.
  • Children have unhealthy eating patterns.