Feeding problems, growth and nutritional status in children with cerebral palsy

Acta Paediatr. 2012 Jan;101(1):92-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02412.x. Epub 2011 Aug 2.


Aim: The aim was to estimate the prevalence of feeding and nutritional problems in children with cerebral palsy (CP) in Norway.

Methods: Data were abstracted from the Norwegian CP Register for 661 (368 boys) children born 1996-2003 (mean age 6 years 7 months; SD: 1.5). For children born from 1999 to 2003, weight and height were available. Body mass index (BMI) (kg/m(2)) was used to assess nutritional status.

Results: One hundred and thirty-two (21%) children with CP were completely dependent on assistance during feeding. The prevalence of gastrostomy tube feeding was 14%. Longer duration of gastrostomy tube feeding was associated with higher weight and BMI, but not with height. Only 63% of the children with CP had normal BMI, 7% had grade 3 thinness, while the prevalence of overweight and obesity in our study was 16%. In all, 20% of the children had mean z-scores for weight and/or height below - 2 SD.

Conclusion: Feeding problems in children with CP were common and associated with poor linear growth. A high proportion of the children were undernourished. Moreover, our results suggest that gastrostomy tube feeding may have been introduced too late in some children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / complications
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eating*
  • Enteral Nutrition / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Registries