• Twenty-six infants from very poor families were assured adequate diets in protected environments to average age 17.6 months. Ten female infants' mean length reached the tenth percentile and sixteen males' the 25th; female infants' mean weight nearly reached the 50th and males', the 75th. "Norms" in similar environments are near the third percentile for length and the tenth for weight, from infancy through childhood. Six months after returning to original homes there was no further growth in length or head circumference and a mean weight loss of 800 gm, thus declining to environmental norms. Growth followed these patterns until 4 to 8 years of age. Head circumference paralleled linear growth. In very poor environments, nearly maximal growth during the first two years of life apparently does not protect against the characteristic stunting, which may represent an appropriate adaptation.
(Am J Dis Child 130:33-36, 1976)