• cystic fibrosis;
  • energy and protein intake;
  • growth

The energy intake of a group of 30 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) was compared with 30 age/gender matched controls. Dietary intakes were determined from 7-day weighed food records using computerized food composition tables. Absolute energy intakes of the CF group were comparable to those of the controls: when expressed as energy per kg body-weight, the CF group consumed approximately 34% more energy (P<0.01). Growth retardation in the CF group was illustrated by a lower mean weight (P < 0.01) and height when expressed as a height percentile or height standard deviation score (both P< 0.01). The majority of CF patients in this study consumed high intakes of energy per unit body-weight yet still exhibited growth deficits. The challenge for the future lies in attempting to improve these already high energy intakes and evaluating the effects on growth, prognosis and quality of life.