NUTRITION RESEARCH, Vol. i, pg. 419-420, 1981
0271-5317/81/040419-02502.00/0 Printed in the USA. Copyright (c) 1981 Pergamon Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
REVIEWS OF BOOKS Textbook of Pediatric
Robert M. Suskind, Editor. 1981.
New York. pp 662,
There has been a rapid proliferation of books purporting to satisfy the needs of medical students and practitioners. The ideal book has yet to be published. The b o o k u n d e r review is the compilation of papers given at a symposium organized by the Institute for Pediatric Service of the Johnson & Johnson Baby Products Company. The arbritrary division into the major sections of Infant Nutrition, Nutritional Deficiency States, Nutritional Support of the Hospitalized Child and Clinical Nutrition is not logical. Surely, the first three sections are as clinical as the last one. Many of the best known names in nutritional sciences and pediatrics appear in the contributors' list. However, most of the contributions are a half-hearted attempt at paraphrasing previously published reviews. There is overlap between some chapters, e.g. those on gastrointestinal disorders resulting in malnutrition, and the sections on nutritional support. The length of the contributions varies considerably as does their quality. Some chapters are rewarding reading, e.g. Disorders of fat-soluble vitamins, whereas others are disappointing, e.g. Food hypersensitivity, Anorexia nervosa, Immune response, and Childhood malignancy. Many of the references are wrongly cited. The production values of the book are excellent. However, its academic content is at best average. The book is unlikely to serve the felt needs of the student and the practitioner who needs guidance on optimal nutritional practices, both preventive and therapeutic. A stronger editorial hand is essential for achieving the objective of a uniformly excellent textlthis not such a book. Nutritional
Myron Winick, 1979.
of Genetic Disorders
The book is based on contributions given at the annual symposium organized at the Columbia University. The choice of the topic is very timely. The new discipline of genetics has crossed the threshold of adolescence and stepped into adulthood. Clearly, the time is opportune to examine the role of nutrition in modifying the expression of mutant genes. We cannot alter the genetic endowment but dietary changes do constitute a euphenic form of management. Disorders of proteins and amino acids, vitamins and carbohydrates are reviewed in the opening chapters~ some are general in nature, whereas others are more specific, e.g. vitamin Dresistant rickets. Diabetes, genetic obesity and hyperlipidemias are briefly discussed. Some of the material contained in the book is "old" by scientific standards of today. The bibliography also