Malnutrition and Children

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“By the time the reader has finished reading this sentence, 2.3 children have died somewhere in the world from malnutrition.” (Malnutrition Statistics, Para 1) All the malnutrition in the world can be solved. “The planet creates enough food to meet everyone’s needs in the world. But there are still about 925 million hungry people in the world and about 180 million preschool children that do not get the nutrition that they really need.” (Malnutrition and Hunger Paper, Para 1) Helping malnourished children will help improve a child’s education, their physical and mental ability to live, and the future of America. “According to the SchoolFacts of 2009, 34.8% of children in the area of Eau Claire, WI are in risk of malnutrition.” (FMPFoodBank, Para 1) Eau Claire is only about an hour and a half away from my area in Washburn County. According to the Merck Manual Online Library, malnutrition is “the result of an inadequate supply of nutrients due to impaired metabolism, malabsorption or an inadequate supply of food.” Changes in the tissue and blood will occur over a long period of time, also the metabolic process will start to go away and signs of symptoms will finally start to occur. This causes many problems in a body, especially in a child's body. Poor wound healing is a big effect of malnutrition. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “malnutrition can impair healing, increasing the possibility of infections and increase the time it takes to recuperate from a disease or surgery.” If it does not get enough protein, vitamins, and/or carbohydrates, the body can end up taking too long to heal.

The first and most important type of undernourishment is protein-energy malnutrition. This has the lack of energy, food, or protein that provides the energy needed. All food groups have protein, so lack of these can cause many problems. Micronutrient deficiency is the second, and is also very important. These are two that cause protein to majorly decrease. Protein is the most important key to body functions including the development of essential amino acids and the muscles to be able to be maintained. It is evidenced that severe weight loss or Cachexia is caused by malnutrition and causes shrinking of muscle mass and weakening of bones. Pressure ulcers and many problems with the hips -including fractures- risks increase with Cachexia. Urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis are a possible risk from underfeeding. More effects of malnutrition are that hair becomes inelastic and dry and begins to fall out. Failure in the heart and liver may occur from protein becoming deteriorated. Undernourishment also has effects dealing with edema, “effusion of serous fluid into the interstices cells in tissue spaces or body cavities”, anemia. “a quantitative deficiency of the hemoglobin, often accompanied by a reduced number of red blood cells and causing pallor, weakness, and breathlessness”,

and jaundice, which is a yellow discoloration of the skin, and eyes, due to the increase of bile movements in the blood. (LivingStrong Article, Para 5)
When in older age, around 40 years old, women will lose approximately 11 pounds of lean muscle and men will lose around 22 pounds due to older age, poor diet, and no exercise. When introduced to malnutrition, men and women of an average weight will lose approximately 50 pounds. (LivingStrong Article, Para 6) Undernourishment can cause major havoc on the body. When a person is going through a major malnutrition problem, the body begins to eat away muscles for energy. This will reduce the essential calorie requirements for the body and begin to produce nutritional deficiencies that can cause major bone loss. All these deficiencies in women can cause many problems during her menstrual cycle. Amenorrhea, or a women not able to have her period, can be a big issue for women. This will cause them to become unable to have children. (Hunger Notes, Para 4 - 5) In both men and...
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