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Malnutrition in developed and developing countries.

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Malnutrition in developed and developing countries In order to remain healthy, we need to eat a range of nutrients in the amounts and proportions required by the body- a balanced diet. A shortage, or even a complete lack, of food will lead to starvation. Taking in an excessive amount of food will lead to over nutrition and obesity. Any imbalance of nutrients in the diet, whether too much of one thing or not enough, is referred to as malnutrition. Malnutrition can affect anybody but developing countries, children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable group. Malnutrition has a number of primary causes: * Hunger - This is the most menacing cause of malnutrition; it is mainly caused by a deficiency of calories and protein, usually due to poverty. Hunger is most devastating when it attacks children because it can affect their mental and physical development for the rest of their lives. However, hunger also seriously affects adults, hindering their productivity and creating a host of associated health problems. It is estimated that 1.2 billion people worldwide suffer form malnutrition due to hunger. ...read more.


The significance of this is that protein that should be used for growth and repair of cells has to be used as a source of energy. Most aid programmes that supply food to famine stricken areas aim to increase the energy intake of the population. Staple foods such as wheat and rice will satisfy energy intake and also provide energy protein. The body adapts to progressive starvation by: * Quickly using up glycogen stored in the liver * Drawing upon the body's fat stores * Using protein as an energy source, which results in the wasting of the muscles and other tissues It is estimated that 174 million children under the age of 5 in the developing world are malnourished. A child who is undernourished grows less and may end up being short and thin and has less energy to learn and do normal things, they also have a weak immunity system and therefore are less resistant to infections and diseases. Anthropometrics from the World health organization (WHO) show that over 30% of the world's children under the age of five are malnourished in terms of being underweight. ...read more.


an under active thyroid gland although these tend to be rare Worldwide malnutrition continues to be a significant problem, especially among children who cannot fend adequately for themselves. Poverty, natural disaster, political problems and war in developing countries have demonstrated that hunger and malnutrition are not strangers to this world. Malnutrition continues to exist in virtually all countries of the world whether due to over-consumption, hunger or protein-energy malnutrition in spite of a general improvement in food supplies and health conditions. The world's population is at present more successful as a whole than it has ever been. People all over the world have greater resources than ever before, although this has come with an inevitable environmental cost. As a result of a substantial increase in agricultural input, humanity has never had as many choices or access to such a wide variety of foods. The world's food production can easily meet the required nutritional needs of the planets growing population. However, ignorance, inadequate government programs and mismanagement, as well as other man-made disruptions such as war have produced huge imbalances of how food is distributed and made available to people. Amie Mustill ...read more.

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