Malnutrition : Introduction
For its sustenance on the earth, every living organism requires food, which is quite essential for carrying out its physical and mental activities, growth and development. For normal growth and development, man requires some specific nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, roughage and water in right proportion and sufficient quantity, which he gets through the food he eats. The food, which provides all these essential nutrients in proper amounts, is called balanced diet. The deficiency or even excess of any of these in a person’s diet results into disorders regarding nutrition, which may be collectively, called malnutritional disorders. The condition in which the people become weak and sick because of insufficient and unbalanced food is called malnutrition. A large no of people in our country and other developing countries suffer from malnutrition because of poverty, lack of education, wrong notions and frequent pregnancies. The main cause of malnutrition is poverty. The deficiency diseases are of three types: 1. Protein energy malnutrition (PEM)-the condition of being nourished on low protein and low energy diet is called Protein Energy Malnutrition or PEM.So, deficiency of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in PEM. It is the most important nutritional disorder affecting Indian children, in the age of period 1-3 years. The symptoms of PEM are: (A) Loss in weight and height
(B) Poor muscular development
(C) Susceptible to many diseases of respiratory and gastro intestinal systems. 2. Mineral deficiency disease (Anemia, Goiter and Rickets): these are caused due to the deficiency of either iron or iodine. The symptoms are: either he will feel tiredness easily or there will be swelling in his throat region of neck. Goiter is an endemic disease (the diseases, restricted to a given reason and arising from its specific environmental condition are...