• Anthropometry;
  • cerebral palsy;
  • feeding problems

This study was undertaken to characterize the current feeding situation and nutritional status of moderately or severely disabled children with cerebral palsy (CP). Thirty-five children with CP (17 with diplegia, 11 with dystonia, 6 with tetraplegia and one child with ataxia) were investigated at a median age of 8 years. Information was obtained from parental interviews, medical records and clinical and anthropometric examinations. Twenty-one of the 35 children (60%), most of whom were severely disabled, were reported by the parents to have current feeding problems. Anthropometric indicators of undernutrition were found in 15 children (43%) and of overnutrition in 3 children (9%), compared with reference values of healthy children. Severely disabled children in the youngest age group were most at risk for poor nutritional status. Early identification of children at nutritional risk requires regular assessments of feeding skills and nutritional status.