Malnutrition is the condition that develops when the body does not get the right amount of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function
Malnutrition is either undernutrition or overnutrition
Undernutrition is inadequate amounts of nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals
Overnutrition is the result of eating too much, taking too many supplements or not exercising enough
There are many diseases of malnutrition, each with their own symptoms, however, some general symptoms can be:
irritability, anxiety, and attention deficits
goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
loss of reflexes and lack of muscular coordination
amenorrhea (cessation of menstrual periods)
scaling and cracking of the lips and mouth.
Kwashiokor is a form of malnutrition caused by lack of protein. It is common in children that have been weaned off breastmilk, and replaced by a high carbohydrate diet.
Sufferers don't always have insufficient calories, rather just a deficiency of protein, as opposed to marasmus
Symptoms: change in skin and hair color (to a rust color) and texture.
loss of muscle mass.
failure to grow or gain weight.
edema (fluid retention and swelling) of ankles, feet, and belly.
damaged immune system, which can lead to more frequent and severe infections.
Marasmus is energy deficiency caused by lack of calories.
It is common in developing countries, and is a type of undernutrition.
It leads to a emaciated appearance
However, undernutrition is present in the western world as well...
...In the form of nutritional deficiencies such as anaemia (due to excess bleeding and genetics)...
...As well as eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia...
...These lead to unhealthily low weight and not enough of various minerals/vitamins...
Overall, undernutrition affects 795 million people in the world
Overnutrition is also a huge issue, with approximately 2.1 billion overweight or obese people, who are at risk for diseases of overnutrition.
18% of children in the US are obese, according to a 2012 study, and obesity rates around the world are rising.