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Causes of Malnutrition

Updated on February 11, 2010


Malnutrition in different areas of the world is a complex situation in which adverse effects of nutrient shortages are compounded by many other conditions. Some of the causes of malnutrition have been stated to be ignorance, poverty and lack of home control. Ignorance and lack of nutrition knowledge may interfere with wise choices of food. Prejudices against certain foods or hygienic measures, wrong habits and beliefs, and ignorance of how to go about remedying malnutrition are all variations of the ignorance factor.

 Poverty is another culprit. If one has no money to buy enough food or to provide expensive but essential foods such as milk, meat or chicken, then malnutrition is almost inevitable. However, there are many cheap foods that are just as nutritious as the more expensive ones. It is just a matter of knowing them. Proper nourishment can be attained through food substitutes. A good example is legumes which can take the place of meat. One should also know when and where to buy foods to get the best quality with the least cost.

The lack of home control means' the children lack proper supervision and are left on their own resources. The children of the well-to-do are left to the care of the maids who have no adequate knowledge while the children of the low-income group are left to fend for themselves because their parents are out to work. Parents leave their children to decide what they will or will not eat. Parents just give their children money and let them choose any food for snacks and lunch in school. Thus, faulty food intake of children takes place and may result in malnutrition.


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