Malnutrition is a disorder of your food intake. It occurs when a person eats too little or too much, or has an unbalanced diet. In most cases malnutrition means undernourishment, a lack of food and not enough calories. It is widespread in developing countries. On the other side obesity occurs in developed countries where people eat too much. According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition is one of the greatest dangers of global health. Currently, about one billion people around the world do not have enough to eat.

WHEN DOES MALNUTRITION OCCUR

Malnutrition happens when people lack nutrientsvitamins and minerals. Not enough proteins can have negative effects on a person’s growth and lead to physical problems. Vitamins are important for good health and the functioning of your body. A lack of them can cause major problems. Vitamin A deficiency may lead to eye problems and blindness. A lack of calcium leads to a bad growth of bones and teethIron deficiency can affect the brain and lead to a lower IQ rate. It can make children less active and not able to concentrate.

Malnutrition increases the risk of diseases and weakens the immune system. It affects the transmission of viruses, including HIV. It is especially widespread among women, children and older people. Children can be at risk even before birth because they depend on the mother’s nutrition.

CAUSES OF MALNUTRITION

One of the major causes of malnutrition in developing countries is famine and drought which lead to the unavailability of food. Many countries in the Third World to not have enough land to grow food on or do not know how to use it. They do not have the money to afford imported food. In other countries the government neglects the importance of agriculture and does not help famers.

In places with a lack of or dirty drinking water diseases, like diarrhea, lead to indigestion of food.

Digestive disorders may also be causes of malnutrition. People eat properly but their body cannot digest the food. In the Third World many mothers do not breastfeed their children, thus weakening the immune system.

SIGNS OF MALNUTRITION

·         Tiredness and not enough energy

·         Decaying teeth

·         Poor growth

·         Weight loss

·         Fragile bones that break easily

·         Weakening of muscles

·         Diarrhea

·         Dizziness

·         Depression

OBESITY

In developed countries obesity is the most widespread form of malnutrition. Obese people consume more calories than they need. This may lead to diabetes and contribute to heart problems and high blood pressure. Too many fats in your diet can lead to high cholesterol levels.

SOLUTIONS AND TREATMENT

One way to help avoid malnutrition is to enrich food with vitamins. For example, milk is enriched with Vitamin D. In Third World countries schools must try to teach children the right eating habits and emphasize eating vegetables and fruit. Governments and other institutions must do their part in educating the population to eat the right things. The World Health Organization and other groups try to help the poorest of these countries with financial aid and other support.

 

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