Infant Feeding in the Tropics

Roger BrookeAncon Hospital, Panama Canal Zone, U. S. A.

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Infant feeding in the tropics differs from infant feeding in temperate zones, as I see the problem, in two particulars—quantity and substitutes. First, the continuously hot and humid climate will be considered: As about 80 per cent of the caloric value of food is utilized in the production of animal heat, it is obvious that the caloric requirements of an infant in the tropics are somewhat less than that of one in a cold climate. It has long been appreciated that fermentative changes in the intestines and diarrhea are more prevalent during hot weather than cold and that these disorders are both initiated and aggravated by overfeeding, therefore it is likewise logical on this account also, to reduce the quantity of food. Secondly, when artificial feeding has to be resorted to, pure fresh milk is frequently not available to a large part of the population or, if procurable, can not be satisfactorily preserved due to absence of, or inadequate supply of ice.