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One of the traditional goals of neonatal nutrition is to maintain growth within standardized limits. In the preterm infant, growth between the 10th and 90th percentiles of intrauterine rate has been an ideal goal. More recently, maintenance of lean body mass and bone density; prevention of complications such as chronic lung disease, necrotizing enterocolitis, and infection; and optimization of neurodevelopment and adult health through early nutritional programming have become recognized as more meaningful goals than mere somatic growth.

To meet these goals, current nutritional practices require thorough scrutiny in terms of quantity and quality (composition) and how they are customized, if not for the individual patient (which would be ideal), at least for subgroups such as those who are small or appropriate for gestational age, sick or healthy, preterm or term, or male or female.

Fetal nutrition and development frequently are...

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