Malnutrition in Children and Its Effects

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Maltreatment in Children and Its Effects

When the term maltreatment comes to mind, we often think of many things. Whether it is physical abuse, mental abuse, or neglect, one term that does not always come up is malnutrition. Malnutrition is defined as, "Faulty nutrition due to inadequate or unbalanced intake of nutrients or their impaired assimilation or utilization (Dictionary.com)." Malnutrition is usually associated with third world countries and the families who live there who are poor and underprivileged. That statement, however, is incorrect. Here in the U.S., malnutrition is a battle that families and children have to fight on a day to day basis.

Malnutrition is often thought to only occur in countries that are considered third world; however, many millions of cases are reported each year in the most industrialized countries, such as the U.S., England, and Sweden. Many people think malnutrition is caused by lack of food, however that is not true. Malnutrition is caused by many factors such as water which is not as sanitary when compared to that of the U.S. The water which can affect a child in being malnourished is usually contaminated with some sort of parasite, waste, or chemical, which has a major factor when it comes to the health of a young child (Feeding, 2002). Unsanitary water even occurs in inner city neighborhoods where the living conditions are not so great. Another factor for which malnutrition is caused is the rate of infection. When a mother to be does not have adequate nutrition and health, the baby is usually the one who suffers. Often, the newborn will have a low birth weight, jaundice, and a variety of other illnesses which can stay with the child throughout the developing toddler years (Feeding, 2002). Usually events such as these occur in families with a lower household income due to the fact that the parents or parent cannot afford prenatal care before the baby, let alone immunizations for the child and regular check ups. Also,...
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