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Malnutrition is a term that refers to any deficiency, excess or imbalance in somebody’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. It can either be due to inadequate intake or an excess intake of calories.

The term malnutrition covers two broad groups of conditions namely-

  1. Undernutrition– This includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals)
  2. Overnutrition– This includes overweight, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer).

What is the fastest way to cure malnutrition?

Dietary changes and supplements

A dietitian will advise you about dietary changes that can help. They may create a tailored diet plan that ensures you get enough nutrients.

They may also suggest:

  • having a healthier, more balanced diet
  • eating “fortified” foods that contain extra nutrients
  • snacking between meals
  • having drinks that contain lots of calories
  • getting supermarket deliveries at home

If these measures are not enough, taking extra nutrients in the form of supplements may be recommended. These should only be taken on the advice of a healthcare professional.

You’ll have regular appointments to check that any changes to your diet are helping to improve your nutrition. Your diet may need to be adjusted to make it more effective.

What are the 4 types of malnutrition?

There are 4 broad sub-forms of undernutrition: wasting, stunting, underweight, and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. Undernutrition makes children in particular much more vulnerable to disease and death.

What is malnutrition and its effects?

Malnutrition refers to getting too little or too much of certain nutrients. It can lead to serious health issues, including stunted growth, eye problems, diabetes and heart disease. Malnutrition affects billions of people worldwide.

What causes malnutrition?

Malnutrition (undernutrition) is caused by a lack of nutrients, either as a result of a poor diet or problems absorbing nutrients from food. Certain things can increase your risk of becoming malnourished.

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