WHAT IS MALNUTRITION? (DEFINITION)


Nutritional status affect every aspect of a child’s Health including normal growth and development, physical activity, and response to serious illness. Malnutrition may originate from deficiency of absence of nutrients. The establishment and severity of malnutrition depends on the cause, intensity and duration of nutritional deficiency. It can be caused, primarily, by an inadequate diet or, secondarily, by deficiency in gastrointestinal absorption and/or increase in demand, or even, by an excretion of
nutrients [Gomez, f.; et al., 1956].

PROTEIN-CALORIE MALNUTRITION (PCM)
Protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM), also known as protein-energy malnutrition, is defined by the WHO as being a pathological condition that results from a lower ingestion of protein and calorie, which occurs more frequently in children under five years of age.
          Figure 1 shows the direct and indirect causes of malnutrition. It is impossible Mexican nutritionist: “The basic origin of malnutrition is to be found in the malfunctioning of society as a whole and accompanying injustice” [Arroyo, P.; et al., 2000].


Figure 1. Direct and indirect causes of malnutrition, showing poverty is the main underlying cause of malnutrition and its determinants. Adapted from Muller and Krawinkel, [Muller, O.; and Krawinkel, M. malnutrition and health in developing countries. [MAJ. 2005].
 In 2009, the WHO estimated that 27% of children in developing countries under the age is 5 years are malnourished. Approximately 178 million children (32% of children in the developing world) suffer from chronic malfunction. Although the prevalence of childhood malnutrition is decreasing in Asia, countries in South Asia still have both the highest rates of malnutrition and the largest numbers of malnourished children indeed the prevalence of malnutrition in India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan (38.51%) is much higher than in sub-Sahara African (26%). In  Mexico, the must recent nation nutrition survey estimated that 1.8 million children under 5 years of age are malnourished.
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