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What Is Malnutrition? What Causes Malnutrition?
Malnutrition is a broad term which refers to both undernutrition (subnutrition) and overnutrition. Individuals are malnourished, or suffer from undernutrition if their diet does not provide them with adequate calories and protein for maintenance and growth, or they cannot fully utilize the food they eat due to illness. People are also malnourished, or suffer from overnutrition if they consume too many calories. Malnutrition can also be defined as the insufficient, excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients. Several different nutrition disorders may develop, depending on which nutrients are lacking or consumed in excess. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition is the gravest single threat to global public health. This text will focus more on the undernutrition aspect of malnutrition, rather than overnutrition. Subnutrition occurs when an individual does not consume enough food. It may exist if the person has a poor diet that gives them the wrong balance of basic food groups. Obese people, who consume more calories than they need, may suffer from the subnutrition aspect of malnutrition if their diet lacks the nutrients their body needs for good health. Poor diet may lead to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, among other essential substances, sometimes resulting in scurvy - a condition where an individual has a vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency. Though scurvy is a very rare disease, it still occurs in some patients usually elderly people, alcoholics, or those that live on a diet devoid of fresh fruits and vegetables. Similarly, infants or children who are on special or poor diets for any number of economic or social reasons may be prone to scurvy. According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, it is estimated that over two million people are affected by malnutrition (subnutrition). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the number of people globally who were malnourished stood at 923 million in 2007, an increase of over 80 million since the 1990-92 base period. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that malnutrition is by far the largest contributor to child mortality globally, currently present in half of all cases. Underweight births and inter-uterine growth restrictions are responsible for about 2.2 million child deaths annually in the world. Deficiencies in vitamin A or zinc cause 1 million deaths each year. WHO adds that malnutrition during childhood usually results in worse health and lower educational achievements during adulthood. Malnourished children tend to become adults

who have smaller babies. While malnutrition used to be seen as something which complicated such diseases as measles,pneumonia and diarrhea, it often works the other way round - malnutrition can cause diseases to occur. Globally, as well as in developed, industrialized countries, the following groups of people are at highest risk of malnutrition (subnutrition):
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Elderly people, especially those who are hospitalized or in long-term institutional care Individuals who are socially isolated People on low incomes (poor people) People with chronic eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa People convalescing after a serious illness or condition According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary:

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Malnutrition is "Faulty nutrition resulting from malabsorption, poor diet, or overeating." Undernutrition is "A form of malnutrition resulting from a reduced supply of food or from inability to digest, assimilate, and use the necessary nutrients."

Actividades: Una vez que haya leído el texto, conteste las siguientes preguntas en español. Utilice letra clara.

1) ¿Cuál es el tiempo verbal que predomina a lo largo de todo el texto? ¿Por qué? Mencione dos ejemplos de ese tiempo y coméntelos. 2) Cuatro conectores fueron subrayados. Elija 3 y mencione sus categorías. Luego comente las ideas que los mismos enlazan. 3) A lo largo del texto hay ejemplos con distintos verbos modales. Elija 3 y comente las ideas que los mismos comunican. 4) Tres palabras fueron encerradas: elija dos y mencione a qué/quién/quienes hacen referencia. 5) ¿Qué dos conceptos abarca el término mala alimentación o mala nutrición según el texto? 6) Explique ambos conceptos y determine sobre cuál de esos dos conceptos abarcará la lectura propuesta. 7) ¿Quiénes son aquellas personas más vulnerables a sufrir de uno de los conceptos que Ud. identificó al iniciar la lectura? 8) ¿Qué cifras aportó la FAO en cuanto a esta temática? ¿Ha habido cambios positivos en el tiempo? Justifique. 9) ¿Qué ha informado al respecto la WHO (Organización Mundial de la Salud? ¿Tiene efectos a lo largo del tiempo padecer desnutrición en la niñez? Si así fuera, cuál/les es/son?