• Food intake was calculated in 30 young children with evidence of mild zinc deficiency. In a double-blind controlled study of one year's duration, the test children (n=15, including ten boys) received a zinc supplement (average, 4.2 mg/day), and the controls received a placebo syrup. Increases during the study period in calculated intakes of energy, protein, and nine other nutrients were attributable to the zinc supplementation. A significant treatment effect on nutrient intakes was also observed for the boys but not for the girls. Calculated daily energy intakes of the test boys increased from an initial mean of 1,280 kcal (88% Recommended Dietary Allowance [RDA]) to a final mean of 1,880 kcal (118% RDA). Zinc deficiency should be considered in the differential diagnosis of anorexia in young children.