July 24, 2016

What is malnutrition?

Malnutrition is defined as deficiency of one or more of the essential diet ingredients. Malnutrition includes undernutrition and overnutrition. Undernutrition is a state of an insufficient supply of essential nutrients, while Overnutrition refers to an excessive intake of one or more nutrients, which creates a stress in the bodily function.

Primary malnutrition is caused by lack of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals or proteins. It can be secondary, which means it results from an error in metabolism (as in disease of the gastrointestinal tract, thyroid, kidney liver or pancreas), by increased nutritional requirements (growth, injuries, burns, surgical procedures, pregnancy, lactation, fever) interaction between nutrients or nutrients and drugs used in treatment.

According to the FAO of the United Nations in 2012, approximately one in eight people globally or 842 million people, suffered from chronic hunger. Research suggested complex relationships between nutritional status and a wide variety of macro-level and micro-level factors, such as agricultural production, economic strategies, women’s roles and time allocation, nature of local diet, food availability, intra –household allocation to food, breast feeding, weaning practices, sanitation and infection.

People should eat appropriate quantities of quality food, and it should contain all the vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates fats and minerals needed to keep the body healthy.

In developed countries, obesity due to a poor diet with high levels of fat and lost of junk food is a type of malnutrition. Elderly people and hospital patients may also suffer from malnutrition, because they may not be able to look after themselves properly and may be too weak or ill to eat properly.
What is malnutrition?

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