malnutrition


malnutrition
/mal'nooh trish"euhn, -nyooh-/, n.
lack of proper nutrition; inadequate or unbalanced nutrition.
[1860-65; MAL- + NUTRITION]

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Condition resulting from inadequate diet or from inability to absorb or metabolize nutrients.

Food intake may be insufficient to supply calories or protein (see kwashiorkor) or deficient in one or more essential vitamins or minerals. The latter case can lead to specific nutritional deficiency diseases (including beriberi, pellagra, rickets, and scurvy). Metabolic defects, especially of the digestive system, liver, kidneys, or red blood cells, prevent proper digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients. See also nutrition.

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      physical condition resulting either from a faulty or inadequate diet (i.e., a diet that does not supply normal quantities of all nutrients (nutrient)) or from a physical inability to absorb or metabolize nutrients, owing to disease.

      Malnutrition may be the result of several conditions. First, sufficient and proper food may not be available because of inadequate agricultural processes, imperfect distribution of food, or certain social problems, such as poverty or alcoholism. In these instances, the cause of malnutrition is most often found to be a diet quantitatively inadequate in calories or protein.

      Malnutrition may also result when certain foods containing one or more of the essential vitamins or minerals are not included in the diet. This commonly leads to specific nutritional-deficiency diseases. Poor eating habits and food preferences may lead to malnutrition through the habitual consumption of certain foods to the exclusion of others or of large quantities of nonnutritious foods. In certain parts of Africa, for example, the practice of weaning breast-fed infants to a diet consisting chiefly of one kind of starchy food, such as cassava, may lead to protein deficiency (see kwashiorkor). In parts of East Asia, a restricted selection of foods and a preference for white polished rice as a dietary staple has led to the prevalence of a deficiency of thiamin (vitamin B1), which is found mainly in the germ and bran of grain (see beriberi). Multiple deficiencies are more likely to occur than single deficiencies, though the manifestations of one type usually predominate.

      Malnutrition can also arise from acquired or inherited metabolic (metabolism) defects, notably those involving the digestive tract, liver, kidney, and red blood cells. These defects cause malnutrition by preventing the proper digestion, absorption, and metabolism of foodstuffs by organs and tissues. See also nutrition and nutritional disease.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • malnutrition — [ malnytrisjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1956; mot angl., de 1. mal et nutrition ♦ Didact. Mauvais état nutritionnel dû à une alimentation mal équilibrée en quantité, en qualité, ou à une cause métabolique. ⇒ dénutrition; kwashiorkor. « les hommes souffrent de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Malnutrition —   [zu lateinisch malus »schlecht« und spätlateinisch nutritio »Ernährung«] die, , Sammelbegriff für eine Fehl beziehungsweise Mangelernährung, d. h. jede Form der Nahrungszufuhr, bei der die dem Körper zugeführte Menge an Energie oder an einem… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • malnutrition — mal nu*tri tion, n. [Mal + nutrition.] (Physiol.) Faulty or imperfect nutrition; inadequate or unbalanced food intake. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • malnutrition — 1843, from MAL (Cf. mal ) + NUTRITION (Cf. nutrition) …   Etymology dictionary

  • malnutrition — belongs firmly to the list of Fowlerian lost causes. ‘A word to be avoided,’ wrote Fowler in 1926, as often as underfeeding will do the work. Alas for Fowler, underfeeding has not done its work, although the related form underfed is still going… …   Modern English usage

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  • malnutrition — ► NOUN ▪ lack of proper nutrition …   English terms dictionary

  • malnutrition — [mal΄no͞o trish′ən] n. inadequate nutrition; poor nourishment resulting from insufficient food, improper diet, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Malnutrition — Underfeeding redirects here. For the concept in metalworking, see Underfeeder. Undernutrition redirects here. For the undernutrition without malnutrition concept, see Calorie restriction. Malnutrition Classification and external resources The… …   Wikipedia

  • Malnutrition — À propos de la « faim dans le monde », voir l article Sous alimentation. Un enfant avec signes de Kwashiorkor et de marasme, au Nigeria. Notez l abdomen balonné et les œdèmes des pieds, caractéristiques …   Wikipédia en Français


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