A Review of Dietary intake and Nutritional status of children with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of neurologic disorders typically caused by a non-progressive lesion or abnormality of the developing brain that appears in infancy or early childhood and permanently affects body movement, muscle coordination, and balance. It is the most common cause of physical disability in childhood and is a significant health problem with major effects over the lifespan. The global prevalence of CP ranges between 2 – 10 per 1000 children in community-based samples with prevalence varying widely from country to country. Children are vulnerable to protein energy malnutrition (PEM) as well as micronutrient deficiencies because of their continuing growth that hikes their bodies’ demand for nutrients. This risk of malnutrition is increased in neurologically impaired (NI) children e. g CP, due to a number of nutritional and non-nutritional factors. Among the nutritional factors is insufficient dietary intake due to feeding difficulties resulting from impaired chewing and swallowing. Cerebral palsy may be associated with a host of comorbidities such as undernutrition (46% to 90% of the patients), Studies have reported increased prevalence of morbidity and mortality secondary to compromised nutritional status among children with CP compared to their normal counterparts in the same age group. Objective: This review is aimed at assessing the effect of dietary intake on nutrition status of children with cerebral palsy. Methodoly: A review of various publications was conducted using the key words, Cerebral Palsy, disability, and feeding difficulties. Results and conclusion: This review shows that feeding difficulties due to motor dysfunction is common in children with CP and may reduce their dietary intake resulting to poor health and nutritional status Recommendation: There is need to develop effective interventions aimed at improving the dietary intake of children with CP. Such interventions could help mitigate poor nutritional status as well as improve their quality of life.