Poor nutrition is a serious problem in children with cerebral palsy in Palawan, the Philippines

Int J Rehabil Res. 2000 Sep;23(3):177-84. doi: 10.1097/00004356-200023030-00007.


Children with cerebral palsy (CP) in developed countries have poor nutritional status; however there is little data from developing countries. In Palawan, in the Philippines, the nutritional status of 31 children with CP was compared to that of their siblings (n = 20) and a control group of neighbourhood children (n = 64), matched for age and sex. The children's weights, heights and armspans were measured. The heights of children with CP could not be measured and were estimated from their armspans using an equation relating height to armspan in siblings and controls. Haemoglobin levels of the study cases and siblings were measured. Siblings and controls had similar nutritional status. The children with CP had extremely poor nutritional status, and had significantly smaller weights for height, heights for age and weights for age than siblings or controls. Haemoglobin levels were not significantly different between the children with CP and their siblings. The nutritional status of children with quadriplegic CP was much poorer than that of similar children in the USA. The severity of malnutrition in children with CP is likely to be detrimental to their development, and a nutritional component should be incorporated into rehabilitation programmes. Also, there is a need to examine the nutritional status of children with CP in other developing countries.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Cerebral Palsy* / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy* / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Philippines