"Most of the seven billion people in this world suffer from malnutrition. Half do not have enough to eat and the rest of us eat too much."― Earle Gray
Types of Malnutrition
Malnutrition is characterized by an inadequate amount of nutritional components in the body. Malnutrition in the body is due to iron deficiency, protein deficiency, calories deficiency, calcium deficiency, Vitamin deficiency, calcium deficiency, etc. Most common types of malnutrition are as following:
- Protein energy malnutrition
- Mineral deficiency disease
- Over intake of nutrients
Now we will further go into details of each type of malnutrition.
Protein Energy Malnutrition PEM
Insufficient availability or absorption of energy and protein in the body is known as Protein-energy malnutrition. It is one of the common causes of death in children. The two major diseases caused by Protein-energy malnutrition are:
This disease is developed in children in the age of 6 months and 1 year. Children with this disease show poor growth and look small when compared to other children of their age. The patient shows abnormally high loss of body fats and seems to look like a skeleton.
This disease is caused by protein deficiency. Children may grow to normal height but are abnormally thin. It occurs at the age of 12 months usually when breastfeeding is discontinued. It can also occur at any time when a child is in growing age.
Mineral Deficiency Disease
The disease caused by the deficiency of minerals in the body is called Mineral deficiency disease. The diseases caused by mineral deficiency are:
It is the most common disease caused by minerals deficiency. Anemia means a reduction of blood. In this disease a sufficient amount of iron in the diet is absent. You may experience weakness and poor oxygen supply to body tissues as compared to normal.
It is a disease caused by iodine deficiency in the body. If a sufficient amount of iodine is not present in a person’s diet then it causes thyroid gland enlargement that causes your neck to look swollen. This condition is called a goiter.
Over intake of nutrients
Excessive consumption of certain food types cause high amount of certain nutrients in the body. Surprisingly it is also a type of malnutrition. Below we have discussed the diseased that result from excessive consumption of various nutrients:
- Carbohydrates and fats:
If you eat food that is high in carbohydrates and fats concentration, they are likely to cause the following diseases:
- Weight gain
- Cardiac abnormalities
- Vitamin A
High dose of Vitamin A causes:
- Loss of appetite
- Liver problems
Symptoms of Malnutrition
Some general symptoms of malnutrition are:
- Poor growth
- Poor physique
- Impaired mental development
- Hair loss
Causes of Malnutrition
The cause of malnutrition is poor diet, insufficient nutrients, low income, etc. These factors are major reasons behind the widespread malnutrition across the globe.
- Poor diet
Poor diet is a cause of malnutrition. When a person does not eat a sufficient amount of food or a food that does not provide a balanced quantity of all nutritional components to the body and so it leads to the development of many diseases.
- Insufficient nutrients
Insufficient nutrients are a cause of malnutrition when some specific amount of nutrients like calcium, iron, protein, iodine, etc. are not provided in the proper amount through any source.
- Low income
Low income is also a cause of malnutrition. Poor people did not provide proper food to their children due to poverty. They also can not afford other alternatives like supplements to compensate for the lack of nutrition.
Starvation is a cause of malnutrition in poor people due to poverty. No availability if the food to the body at all is called starvation. It is the most terrible effect of malnutrition. If it is long term then it causes death.
Famines are a natural or management problem causing a shortage of food to feed the entire population properly. Famine is also a cause of malnutrition in any area when people do not get food enough to fulfill their body requirements.
- Providing medicine and supplements
People with this disease should provide specific medicines and supplements for their betterment and it is good for recovery. Modernized supplements ensure fast recovery of body functions if the malnutrition is mild or moderate. It may take a little time to recover in case of severe malnutrition. If someone develops a disorder due to malnutrition it causes much more distress and gets harder to treat.
- Providing proper diet
People should be provided with a proper diet at the proper time and according to schedule. If you take a balanced diet you will never face any malnutrition at all and if you have already identified that you have a specific deficiency make sure you make that particular nutritional component an integral part of your diet to make up for the previous insufficiency. Adding milk, eggs, fruits, and vegetables your diet daily ensures a good body and brain development.