The book entitled ‘Therapeutic Pediatric Nutrition’ is a sequel to the earlier book, ’Basic Pediatric Nutrition’, authored by Ms. Madhu Sharma, a senior Dietician in the Department of Pediatrics, PGI, Chandigarh. It covers issues on dietary management/modifications in various diseases of childhood.
It is well known that diet and disease are intimately related. There are a number of diseases of childhood which require dietary restrictions and alterations, some of which are quite common and others not so common.
An attempt has been made by the author to bring out a compendium of her experience of almost 3 decades in the pediatric section of a leading Institute in India. Each chapter delineates in detail, every aspect of therapeutic dietetics, covering physiological background, pathogenesis of factors leading to nutritional disorders, nutritional requirements in a specific disease entity, the scientific basis of the menu planning and development of recipes, to provide the calculated amounts of nutrients in a palatable form. The rationale of every recommendation is firmly based on scientific data.
Diseases requiring dietary modifications/restrictions are malabsorptive conditions like celiac disease (wheat allergy), cystic fibrosis or inflammatory bowel disease and even constipation. There are an increasing number of children presenting with Type 11 diabetes of childhood. As with adults, along with insulin, management is based upon what and how much to eat. The dose of insulin is in fact based on the dietary intake of a child. In fact they are allowed to eat as for a normal child of their age, but with limiting simple carbohydrates. How this balance needs to be struck is covered explicitly in this book.
Another very common problem among children is that of seizures (epilepsy). In cases of uncontrolled seizures, a specifically calculated and designed diet is prescribed, known as the ketogenic diet which is known to control seizures effectively. In conditions like celiac disease, wheat products have to be completely eliminated from the diet. What and how best an alternative diet can be planned to maintain growth and development of the child is discussed at length in this book. There are certain metabolic diseases which require dietary modifications which have been touched upon. Dental problems are a common feature of growing up. Why and how these problems occur and ways to prevent them have also been covered in detail.
There are certain misconceptions regarding dietary modifications in disorders of the liver and kidney in children. An attempt has been made to elaborate upon the dietary management in these conditions too.
In brief, in the words of Dr. Walia who has given a foreword on the book, ‘it is a comprehensive collection of current thoughts on therapeutic dietetics for the sick child in the Indian scenario. It is strongly recommended to be on the shelf of every medical library, pediatrician, pediatric nurses and hospital dieticians’.