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Early malnutrition bodes ill for adult personality

Food deprivation in infancy may promote negative traits at age 40

Malnutrition in the first year life, even when followed by a good diet and restored physical health, predisposes people to a troubled personality at age 40, new research suggests.

The study of 77 formerly malnourished people represents the first evidence linking malnutrition shortly after birth to adult personality traits. The traits in some cases may foretell psychiatric problems, says a team led by psychiatrist Janina Galler of Harvard Medical School in Boston and psychologist Paul Costa of Duke University Medical Center in Durham.

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