The effects of malnutrition on the motor, perceptual, and cognitive functions of Filipino children

Int Disabil Stud. 1990 Oct-Dec;12(4):131-6. doi: 10.3109/03790799009166604.


The motor, perceptual, and cognitive abilities of 99 Filipino children, aged 4-6 years with a documented history of malnutrition from a nutritionally depressed area of Manila were determined using the Revised Manila Motor-Perceptual Screening Test. They were classified into four groups of: (1) normal; (2) acutely malnourished; (3) stunted but not malnourished; and (4) chronically malnourished using the Waterlow classification. Thirty-one normal children of comparable ages and background from a nationwide pool were similarly tested and served as the control group. Motor (p = 0.001) and perceptual skill (p less than 0.03 to less than 0.001) scores were significantly lower than in their normal counterparts, especially in the chronically malnourished children. Cognitive abilities were not evidently affected by malnutrition.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Nutrition Disorders / classification
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications*
  • Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Perception
  • Philippines / epidemiology
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reference Values