Kwashiorkor: Nutrition and Food Aid Organizations

Topics: Nutrition, Malnutrition, Blood Pages: 3 (842 words) Published: October 15, 2012
Kwashiorkor is a medical condition that develops due to an insufficient intake of proteins. This disease was first identified and described in the 1930”s in Ghana. The word kwashiorkor originated from the Ga language widely spoken in many parts of Ghana. It literally means “one who is physically displaced.” Also called protein energy malnutrition (PEM) or malignant nutrition. This malnutrition disease is common in areas where there is drought, famine, areas with limited food supply and places where there is low level of education (people do not understand the importance of a proper diet). Unfortunately it is more common in poor countries especially in times of drought or political unrests and it mainly affects children. Surprisingly this disease also occurs in first world countries especially among the poor and under privileged groups along with elderly people. However, it is very rare in children in some countries like United States and if it occurs it is a sign of child abuse and severe neglect. CAUSES

The primary cause is severe deficiency of proteins.
Starvation due to drought and famine.
Alfa toxin poisoning is one of another significant cause and it is a result of food contaminated with molds which is known to affect the liver hence making it unable to manufacture albumin (protein found in plasma). •Barriers that get in the way of protein absorption such as infections, parasites or disease conditions also cause kwashiorkor. •Lack of education about proper nutrition.

Vegetarian diets too are also known to cause kwashiorkor however, in very slim cases. EFFECTS
The effects of kwashiorkor tend to develop slowly over a period of time. They include the following: 1.Large belly that sticks out (protrudes) due to accumulation of gases in the intestine. 2.Increased and more severe infections due to damaged immune system(less antibodies). 3.Exhaustion and fatigue due to depletion of fats and carbohydrates in the body....
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