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  1. Murphy, Suzanne P. PhD
  2. King, Janet C. PhD
  3. Kretsch, Molly J. PhD
  4. Butte, Nancy F. MPH, PhD
  5. Yates, Allison A. PhD, RD
  6. Blackburn, Mary L. PhD, MPH


In the 1970s, Doris Howes Calloway turned to the need to better understand mild to moderate malnutrition. She led the Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program (NCRSP), which was designed to look at possible effects of inadequate food intakes on outcomes such as growth, morbidity, pregnancy, and childhood intellectual development. Although it was known that a severe lack of calories and/or nutrients could result in serious morbidity and death, there was controversy about the effects of moderate malnutrition. Although growth might be stunted, it seemed possible that other health and developmental outcomes might not be affected. The NCRSP selected low-income regions of 3 countries (Egypt, Kenya, and Mexico) where there was moderate malnutrition, to evaluate causes and effects on these outcomes. The study found that child growth was compromised in all 3 sites, primarily due to childhood illnesses in Egypt and to poor diets in Kenya and Mexico. Other negative effects were also seen in lower scores on tests of cognitive abilities. The NCRSP results were further extended by new studies of undernutrition both in the original countries sites and in additional locations. Ultimately, the NCRSP led to a greater acceptance of the negative consequences of even moderate malnutrition.