Best Malnutrition Guide: 'No' to Nutritional Imbalance

We often associate malnutrition with only the lack of nutrients but do you know that a healthy-looking person also might be suffering from nutritional imbalance? Know why and how!
Best Malnutrition Guide: No to Nutritional Imbalance illustration
Malnutrition or Malnourishment: Nutritional Imbalance because of excessive, insufficient, or imbalanced intake of nutrients!

What is Malnutrition or Malnourishment?

What is Malnutrition and How to Avoid It?


Nutritional Imbalance, also known as malnutrition or malnourishment, means the excessive, insufficient, or imbalanced intake of nutrients. We often associate malnutrition with only the lack of nutrients; where nutrients can also bring you in trouble if taken in excessive or imbalanced amounts.

Malnutrition is a state with a lack of nutrientsNutrients: Vastly Knowledgeable Nutrition Guide Vastly Knowledgeable Nutrition Guide or specific nutrients that are required for growth, maintenance, and proper mechanism of body functions.

This state is a nutritional imbalance that shows the difference between nutrients that our body needs and nutrients that our body gets. Majorly, this might happen because of three reasons:

Over Nutrition (Excessive Consumption)

Malnutrition: Over nutrition illustration of a fatty man
Malnutrition: Overnutrition!

Over-nutrition means too much consumption of calories or nutrients that are used by the organism in expending (absorbing) or expelling (removing). The excessive consumption of sustenance ultimately leads to:

  1. Poor health
  2. Obesity.

Other results can cause:

  1. Brittle nails
  2. Hair loss
  3. Irregular premenstrual cycle in females.

Under Nutrition (Insufficient Consumption)

Malnutrition: Undernutrition illustration of a thin weak man
Malnutrition: Undernutrition!

Undernutrition means lesser consumption of calories or specific nutrients that are used for fulfilling the energy need of the body for absorption (organism), expels and expends. Insufficient consumption of sustenance leads to:

  1. Poor health
  2. Diseases
  3. Disorders.

Imbalanced Nutrition (Unbalanced Consumption)

Malnutrition: Nutrition imballanced food illustration
Malnutrition: Nutrition imbalanced food illustration!

Imbalanced nutrition refers to the improper ratio of nutrients. When we intake certain nutrients more and more every day for a longer period of time and simultaneously keep avoiding the consumption of other important nutrients, such a diet is said to be improper, unhealthy, and unbalanced.

All three states: over-nutrition, under-nutrition, and imbalanced nutrition result in malnutrition or nutritional imbalance.

Eye-Opener: The Facts

The most awaking fact is:

The world has more malnourished people than insufficient nutrition-takers.

So, the nutritional imbalance is a bigger concern than lack of nutrition in humans, if talk about the current scenario of the world as per the World Health Organization.

In developing countries, insufficient nutrition is a greater problem in comparison to starvation.

Causes of Malnutrition

Now what irks here is the root cause of malnutrition about which most of us are unaware. The causes of nutritional imbalance or improper nutrients are directly associated with inadequate consumption of macronutrients and indirectly linked with eye-opening factors such as:

  1. Maternal care
  2. Child care
  3. Household food security
  4. Health services
  5. Environment, and so on.

Nutrients behind Malnutrition

Various nutrients such as simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, trans fat, fats, omega-3 fats, omega-6 fats, cholesterol, protein, sodium, iron, iodine, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, and Vitamin C, D, E, K, calcium, magnesium, and potassium play vital role in nutritional imbalance.

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Malnutrition: Diseases and Disorders

Both nutritional deficiency and excess can lead you towards a disease or disorder.

A poor diet that does not provide proper nutrition can cause many health problems such as:

  1. Obesity
  2. Blindness
  3. Scurvy
  4. Anemia
  5. Stillbirth
  6. Preterm birth
  7. Cretinism
  8. Metabolic Syndrome
  9. Mental agility
  10. Mental disorders
  11. It can also push you towards chronic diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, where some chronic cases of malnutrition can cause marasmus.
  12. Acute cases of nutrition deficiency because of the poor diet can result in Kwashiorkor.
  13. Lack of nutrition affects the performance level too. Other than low academic performance and scores, nutrition deficiency also decreases overall productivity.
  14. Malnutrition can be the biggest factor or cause of cancer, death, and disabilities.
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Nutrition Challenges to the World

Where in kids, child malnutrition is the biggest global nutrition challenge, grown-ups and adults are also not untouched. Obesity, adult overweight, mental disorders, vitamin deficiency, mineral malnutrition, and diseases are some growing issues that we deal with and remove by increasing awareness.

How to Keep Malnutrition at Bay?

Other than nutrition education and awareness, we all need to understand the importance and significance of a balanced diet. We also need to learn how to read and use the nutrition label mentioned on the food packages. Understanding nutrition facts labelHow to Read Food Labels: 15 Explanatory Pointers How to Read Food Labels: 15 Explanatory Pointers or nutrition information panel or nutritional values can help in reducing the effects of nutritional imbalance.

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