Malnutrition is a broad term which refers to both under nutrition and over nutrition. Malnutrition can be defined as the insufficient excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients according to World Health Organization (W H O) malnutriton is the greatest single threat to Global Public Health


Under nutrition is defined as Inadequate nutrition resulting from lack of food or failure of the body to absorb or assimilate nutrients properly is known as under nutrition it occurs when people do not eat observed in a few points to cover their need for energy and growth or to maintain a healthy immune system there are three forms of malnutrition

  • Moderate malnutrition
  • Micronutrient deficiency
  • Severe protein-energy malnutrition

Severe protein-energy malnutrition

This is the severest form of malnutrition in infants and young children resulting in marasmus and kwashiorkor the affected children are at the risk of death and immediately need hospitalization and nutrition intervention. if proper treatment is given that children can quickly recover and help in living a healthy life


Kwashiorkor is a consequence of prolonged protein deficiency there is decreased muscle mass due to failure of weight gain and the characterized by soil on edema and liquid build up around the liver there are changes in the skin pigmentation along with hair thinning and lighting The children are at an increased risk of infection and diarrhea

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Marasmus a condition which reasons due to insufficient caloric intake this year form of valuation is obtained by gross weight loss and absence of subcutaneous fat or muscle the affected children are ravenously hungry and starve to death

Marasmus: Symptoms, Treatment, and More

Moderate malnutrition

This form of modulation can be classified into stunting wasting and underweight


Stunting is Adequate nutrition over along. Leading to failure of linear growth it is a condition in which the height of children is shorter than average for their age


Wasting is accused of adequate nutrition leading to Rapid weight loss for failure to gain weight it is a condition in which the weight of children is less than average for their height


Underweight is a form of growth in impairment in which the weight of children is less than average for their age. It could occur as a result of wasting stunting or both

Micronutrient deficiency

Micronutrient deficiencies are generally known as hidden hunger and result when the body lacks one or more micronutrients. For example iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin A or folate

Iron deficiency (anemia)

As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient iron

The body needs iron to make hemoglobin a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen when there is lack of iron in the potty it leads to iron deficiency which is associated with breathlessness,  lack of energy headache enlarged spleen and liver and soreness of the tongue

It can be treated with Vitamin and mineral supplements and bone marrow transplant

Iodine deficiency

Lack of iodine in the diet may result in iodine deficiency disorders associated with impaired mental development and low IQ levels the two none form of iodine deficiency are goiter and cretinism

Quetta is a condition which is accompanied by the swelling of thyroid gland present at the back of the neck when there is not enough iodine present in the body the gland in large to absorb as much iodine as possible.

Cretinism is a sphere form of iodine deficiency which is associated with the mental and physical retardation IDDS can be easily overcome by the regular use of iodized salt in the diet

Iodine deficiency in Pakistan: Truth and rumours - Daily Times

Vitamin A deficiency

 Vitamin A deficiency is linked to blindness and increased severity of infections. Night blindness is one of the first sign of vitamin a deficiency when this deficiency get severe it develops into xerophthalmia (dry conjunctiva and cornea) and if untreated transforms into keratomalacia (ulceration perforation liquefaction of cornea) followed by complete blindness food rich in vitamin 

Alike carrots yellow fruits liver and supplements may help in the prevention and control of vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin D Deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin D is associated with rickets which is a disease in children leading to the softening of bones and skeletal deformities. osteomalacia is a similar disease which occurring in adults for vitamin D deficiency sufficient exposure to UV light ways and dietary supplements could be useful in the treatment and prevention of vitamin D deficiency

Rickets - Standard Treatment Guidelines


It is a form of malnutrition in which nutrients are over consumed relative to the amount required for normal growth development and metabolism. Over some time, it may result in overweight which leads to obesity


Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat accumulates to the extent that it may harm health leading to reduced life expectancy or increased health problems it is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide with increasing prevalence in adults and children and it is viewed as one of the most serious public health problems of 21st century


at an individual level, a combination of excessive food energy intake and lack of physical activity is thought to explain most cases to explain obesity a limited number of cases are due to genetics or psychiatric illness body build also play a role in developing obesity there are three types of body forms endomorph, Mesomorph, Ectomorph

endomorph individuals have larger trunks and shorter limbs and have more tendencies toward obesity mesomorph individuals have proportionate limbs and trunk and athletic build and have less tendency toward obesity ectomorph individuals are tall slender have long limbs and shorter trunks and have very little tendency towards obesity. Every person also has a difference in utilization in energy which is dependent on fatness or leanness physical activity and basal metabolic rate hormonal influences can also contribute to obesity like hypothyroidism. External factors like food rich in calories and fats meal patterns and micronutrient deficiency play a role in the development of obesity other factors includes lake of fiber in the diet lack of exercise overfeeding in infants emotional stress and climate


Dieting and physical exercise are the main treatment for obesity diet quality can be improved by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods like those high in fat and sugars and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber diet programs may result in weight loss for the short term but maintain the weight loss is often difficult therefore regular exercise and low-calorie diet must be a permanent part of an individual’s lifestyle.

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