Malnutrition: An imminent issue we must pay attention to

Over 15 million die of malnutrition and related diseases every year

Millions of human beings in the world live in an extreme poverty, die of malnutrition and lack of medical health care. World Health Organization (WHO) regards hunger and malnutrition as a serious threat to public health. Over 15 million die of malnutrition and related diseases every year.

Malnutrition results from eating a diet in which one or more nutrients are either too much or are not sufficient to meet the requirements of our body than such a diet causes health problems. In such a case many people starve due to poverty because they cannot get enough nutritious food. Children are more susceptible to growth failure due to lack of nutrients, carelessness and improper breastfeeding. Approximately 2.3 million children died in 2011 from nutrition related diseases.

Pakistan suffers from high rates of childhood malnutrition and has made little progress in the past 20 years to report the issue. About 38-40% of children under five years of age have been reported to be underweight and stunted. Pakistan has long been considered as self-sufficient in diverse agriculture produce and refined foods.

Lack of political commitment to systematically address malnutrition, minimal investments in nutrition interventions, and a lack of clear, focused and practical strategy are some of the factors that have contributed to the persistence of high levels of child malnutrition. Sub-clinical deficits in iron, zinc and vitamin A are prevalent among schoolchildren and pregnant women.

Malnutrition may affect our immune system which increases the risk of getting infectious diseases which have been there for a prolonged time, severe muscle wasting, breathing difficulties and many other menace factors.

In some cases of malnutrition, oral supplements may be vital if it is not possible to meet your nutritional requirements from your diet only. An additional 250-600 kcal (kilo calories) may be recommended.

Generally, it is also caused by alcoholism so it is to be avoided. It is very much important that malnutrition is spotted as early as possible in order to thwart the condition getting worse. Make sure that you have a nutritious diet. Your healthcare professional will toil with you to ensure that you are consuming adequate calories from the basic food groups including carbohydrates, proteins, fats and dairy. Apart from that a great amount of vitamins and minerals.

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