A Hungry Child’s First Thousand Days

Originally posted on the Washington Monthly.

Dr. Megan Sandel, a pediatrician, experiences a troubling revelation whenever she sees a patient in the Boston Medical Center’s Grow Clinic. The clinic seems like a normal health-care facility in an advanced country, she notes: a waiting room, a medical assistant taking a child to be weighed and measured and then into an examining room.

“But that’s where, in some ways, the picture changes,” said Dr. Sandel, the clinic’s co-director, “because when you walk into the room you see this really cute, what you think is a twelve-month old, but it turns out it’s a two-year old. It’s a two-year old who hasn’t outgrown their twelve-month-old clothes yet.”