What Are The Different Effects Of Malnutrition?

In this world, there are people who have the privilege in terms of foods. I will ask you some question then. Are you thinking what you can add to the family feast menu? Do you eat different pizzas without looking at the cost? Do you eat expensive foods every day? Would you pick food than you can eat at the buffet and just dump the excess in the bin? If you answer these questions with a yes, then you are indeed lucky. Why? Because somewhere in the world, there are people who have more worry than that. What they might worry more is when they can eat again or dying because they lack the vital nutrients. Read on to this and get to know about the different effects of malnutrition.

That is why we will talk about the malnutrition or the lack of proper nutrition and the effects of malnutrition in this article. To know more, just continue reading below.

The Malnutrition Index and Impact of Malnutrition

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization stated that in 1 in every 8 people are suffering from this disease. 31.5% of the children from the developing nations are undernourished and at least 14.5 % of the deaths of the children ages 0-5 are because of starvation.

The starvation and malnutrition have the distressing impact on the children, adults and the pregnant women. Moreover, they can also have severe socio-economic impacts.

  • Children: stunted growth, mental retardation, GI tract infections, anemia, micronutrient deficiency, and death.
  • Pregnant Women: the pregnant woman can have a difficult labor, anemia, and postpartum hemorrhage.
  • General Effects: inactivity of the muscles, weak immunity, kidney function impairment, apathy, and depression.

Effects of Malnutrition

The malnutrition is not only an effect of the lack of nutrients but also by the excessive intake. Furthermore, the lack of the essential micro-nutrient that causes the malnutrition is the major global concern. Below is the list of different types of malnutrition:

  • Growth failure malnutrition: It is the failure of a person to grow as expected in weight or stature that is according to his/her gender and age.
  • Acute malnutrition or wasting: it is arising out of the drastic and sudden weight loss. In addition, it leads to three types of clinical malnutrition:
  • Kwashiorkor: it is distinguished by the bilateral pitting oedema in the feet and legs. Furthermore, as result, the undernourished child will look plump.
  • Marasmic-kwashiorkor: it is characterized by severe oedema and wasting.
  • Marasmus: it occurs when the body tissues and fat degenerate to an alarming rate in order to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Thus, the internal processes of the body begin to slow down at an alarming speed as does the activity of the immune system.
  • Chronic malnutrition or stunting: it happens over a long period of time and has long-lasting consequences. It begins before the birth because of the poor maternal health that leads to the stunted growth of a child. Furthermore, the main causes that behind it is the lack of availability of proper nutrients, poor breastfeeding, and It is dangerous for the reason that it becomes irreversible after an age.
  • Micronutrient Malnutrition: it is implying a moderate to severe lack of the Folate, iron, Iodine, Selenium, Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. Furthermore, these vitamins and minerals are very important in various body process and having their deficiency can make a healthy person malnourished.

Other effects of malnutrition:

  • Folate or Vitamin B9 deficiency causes anemia and slow growth.
  • Iodine deficiency leads to mental retardation and impaired thyroid functioning.
  • Iron deficiency can cause poor cardiac function and brain developments and anemia
  • Selenium deficiency leads to weak immunity, poor cardiac function, as well as osteoarthritis.
  • Vitamin A deficiency can cause poor bone development, vision, and immunity.
  • The vitamin B12 deficiency leads to poor RBC formation and nerve degeneration.
  • Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets and other disorders related to bone development
  • Zinc deficiency can cause anemia, poor immunity as well as sensory perception.

Signs Of Undernutrition

But in general speaking, how can a person tell that a person is suffering from malnutrition? To answer that, below is the list of the signs of undernutrition:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty to recuperate after a surgical procedure
  • Extreme adipose tissue loss
  • Austere low body temperature
  • Extreme dry scalp as well as skin
  • The extreme level of tiredness as well as fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Low libido
  • Frequent infections
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

So how about the obese person? How can you say that he might be at risk of malnutrition? Below is what you look for such a person:

  • High BMI
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High waist to hip ratio
  • Irregular period
  • Polycystic ovarian disease
  • Depression
  • Stress, irritability, and stress
  • Dry skin


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