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close this bookProtein-Energy Requirements of Developing Countries: Evaluation of New Data (UNU, 1981, 268 p.)
close this folderProtein-energy requirements-children
close this folderCapacity of habitual Guatemalan diets to satisfy protein requirements of pre-school children with adequate dietary energy intakes
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View the documentObjective
View the documentExperimental details
View the documentSummary of main results
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View the documentConclusions


  1. With the diet used in this study, protein intakes were adequate when energy intakes corresponded to the estimates of energy requirements.
  2. The protein and energy needs of well-nourished children were satisfied by the diets used in this study if:

(a) dietary energy density was increased, and
(b) sufficient amounts of the staple foods were available.

  1. If the diet is supplemented with foods of animal origin or other high-quality proteins, there is no need to provide them every day of the week. Some local vegetable based diets may not require such supplements.
  2. It is not necessary to change the composition of the diet during short, acute episodes of disease or during convalescence from them if the foods are offered to the child in sufficient amounts to satisfy his appetite.
  3. The energy needs of most well-nourished children two to four years old can be satisfied with dietary intakes of 92 to 95 kcal/kg/day.
  4. Measurements made at 4-day intervals over 28 days yield good metabolic-balance data. A 28-day period of observation is adequate to assess the dietary effects on body weight and metabolic balance if the child does not become ill. In that event, other 28-day replications are necessary. The evaluation of other anthropometric changes requires a longer time.
  5. It is still necessary to show whether or not the preceding conclusions are correct for pre-schoolers with mild-to-moderate protein-energy deficiencies.


The investigations were carried out with the financial assistance of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the United Kingdom's Office for Overseas Development. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) administered funds from DANIDA and made the award to INCAP.