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Functional consequences of adult malnutrition in developing countries: a review.

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Performance and Innovation Unit, Cabinet Office, Admiralty Arch, The Mall, London SW1A 2WH, United Kingdom.


Credible concepts of malnutrition depend critically on evidence that functional impairment differentiates variation in size from unacceptable abnormality. This paper reviews functional studies on capacity for work, mortality, reproductive outcomes, competitive success, and cultural preferences. Future research priorities should include the comparative significance of simple physical dimensions in distinct ethnic groups for long-term biological and socioeconomic outcomes, and the relationships between the biological and cultural significance of variation in physique.

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