The Nutrition Rehabilitation Unit, known as NURU, opened in 1972 as a state-of-the-art center for curing and preventing child malnutrition. For the next twenty years, NURU saved many lives; however, it did not do well at preventing child malnutrition. Although it closed in 1992, similar units are still being initiated in other parts of the world, warranting a close look at NURU as a model of hospital-dominated approaches to child malnutrition and expert-designed development programs.