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    Breastfeeding a baby for at least six months is considered the best way to prevent early-childhood malnutrition. Preventing malnutrition in developing countries is a complicated and challenging problem. Providing food directly during famine can help in the short-term, but more long-term solutions are needed, including agricultural development, public health programs (especially programs that monitor growth and development, as well as programs that provide nutritional information and supplements), and improved food distribution systems. Programs that distribute infant formula and discourage breastfeeding should be discontinued, except in areas where many mothers are infected with HIV.

    Every patient being admitted to a hospital should be screened for the presence of illnesses and conditions that could lead to PEM. The nutritional status of patients at higher-than-average risk should be more thoroughly assessed and periodically reevaluated during extended hospital stays or nursing home residence.

    Source: The Gale Group. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.";

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