Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith and "Failure to Thrive"

A legal document written by Anna Nicole Smith's former nanny, Quethlie Alexis, in December has been leaked and it contains multiple accusations about Anna Nicole (aka Vickie Marshall), among them a claim she dangerously starved Dannielynn because "She wanted her baby to be 'sexy'." One of the the accusations in the sworn affidavit include:
  • Alexis was ordered to "underfeed" Dannielynn because "Ms. Marshall was obsessed with making sure that her baby was 'sexy.' Ms. Marshall knew that the correct amount of baby food was 3 ounces every 3 hours ... Ms. Marshall insisted that the maximum I was to give was 2.5 ounces. Dannielynn is badly underweight and not thriving, as a baby should."

The discussions are currently focusing on the fact that Smith's baby has not thrived the way that she should have. This condition is referred to as "Failure to Thrive" or FTT.

FTT is defined as the inadequate intake of calories by an infant, oftentimes through purposeful or inadvertent environmental deprivation. There is some evidence that parents who have had insecure family relationships as well as concerns regarding obesity may limit their infant's intake by 60% - 90% of actual caloric intake. Keep in mind, that some very real issues, that are often not under parents' control (such as poverty and lack of food resources) may also lead to FTT as well.

FTT is associated with global deficits in later social and cognitive development.

In essence, this is something which should have been expected. While I disagree with the glamorization of Smith's death, I do think that the media need to discuss this aspect

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