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Malnutrition Defined

Text extracted from The World Food Problem Leathers & Foster, 2004

Overnutrition Undernutrition
Secondary Malnutrition Micronutrient Malnutrition Protein Energy Malnutrition Most important
Protein Energy Malnutrition


Secondary Malnutrition
Diet normal Food not digested or
Diarrhea Parasites


Micronutrient Malnutrition
Deficiency in:

Rickets (Vitamin D deficiency)

Vitamin A Iodine Iron Zinc Calcium Vitamin D B Vitamins Vitamin C

Vitamin A Deficiency
500,000 children
become blind each year

Half of these will die

within a year of becoming blind Rice diet lacking green vegetables
Vitamin supplements help: cost $3/year Golden Rice could help

Iodine Deficiency
Iodine deficiency
affects 740 million people worldwide single greatest cause of preventable brain damage in babies Goiter Stillbirth Miscarriages Mental Retardation Prevented by iodized salt Best sources of natural iodine
Sea weed Sea food

Goiter (thyroid enlargement)

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Affects 2 billion people, 90% live in developing
39% of preschool children 52% of pregnant women

physical activity mental activity

birth mortality Worms Malaria HIV

High iron rice could help

Iron, Vitamin A & Iodine Deficiency

Other Deficiencies
Growth retardation delayed sexual maturation skin and eye lesions 48% of world at risk for zinc deficiency

Osteoporosis: bone loss

Vitamin D
Rickets: bone malformation

Other Deficiencies
Vitamin C
Causes Scurvy: problem in refugee camps

Causes Pellagra: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia Due to diet high in maize (low in tryptophan)

Causes Beriberi Due to diet high in polished rice

Birth defects: Anancephaly and Spina Bifida

Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM)

Underconsumption of
calories or protein Most important form of malnutrition Associated with poverty
Not enough food Poor quality food

Extreme protein deficiency Kwashiorkor

Extreme calorie deficiency

Protein deficiency often
associated with weaning onto thin cereal gruels.
Cassava Plantains

Bloating of the stomach

due to edema
Fluid leaking into body Wasted muscles

Antibodies degraded to
provide protein to body
Infection Dysentery Death

Calorie deficiency
Lack of food Poorest populations Neglected Infants children

Protein used for energy Results in wasting

Deterioration of tissues

Brain development

Balanced Protein
Protein are made of amino
acids Essential amino acids
Body cannot make Required in diet

Animal proteins have

perfect balance of amino acids
Meat Milk Eggs

Complementing Proteins
Plant proteins are deficient
in different essential amino acids Cereals
Low in lysine

Low in methionine

Must eat both cereal and

beans together to get balanced amino acids
Complementing proteins

Rice and Beans

Calorie Deficiency
Most widespread problem
among poor Cannot get enough calories (energy) in diet
Most get enough protein

Calorie requirements vary

Age Sex Pregnancy Lactation

Nutritional Needs
Recommended Daily Allowance
Level of nutrients adequate for 97-98% of the group Good target for individuals

Estimated Average Requirement

Level of nutrients adequate for individuals in group Always lower than RDA Good target for average intake of a group