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Among poor people, malnutrition is often most severe in children, who need lots of nutritious food to grow well and stay healthy. There are different forms of malnutrition.


This is the most common form, but isn’t always obvious. The child simply doesn’t grow or gain weight as fast as a well –nourished child although, he may appear rather small and thin, he usually doesn’t look sick. However, because he is poorly nourished, he may lack strength (resistance) to fight infections. So he becomes more seriously ill and takes longer to get well than a well – nourished child.

Children with this form of mal- nutrition suffer more from diarrhea and colds usually
last longer and more likely to turn into pneumonia measles , tuberculosis  and many
other infectious   diseases are far more dangerous for these mal – nourished children
more of them there.

It is important that children like this get special care and enough food before they become seriously ill. This is why regular weighing   or measuring around the middle upper arm of young children is so important. It helps detect malnutrition mild malnutrition early and correct it.


This occurs most often in babies who stopped breast feeding early or suddenly and who
are severely mal-nourished without taking any measurements. The numbers increase
dramatically in poor communities during times of famine due to drought or civil war.

Two types are described dry and wet.


This child does not get enough of any kind of food. He is said to have dry mal-nutrition

or marasmus. In other words, he is starved. His body is small very thin and wasted. He

is little more than skin and bones. This child need more food especially energy foods.


Edition is called kwashiorkor or wet malnutrition because his feet, hands and face are swollen. kwashiorkor occurs when a child doesn’t eat enough ‘body-building’ helper foods (protein). However, in the very dry parts of Africa, plain lack of food.(and protein)just leads to dry mal-nutrition (starvation).

It is in those parts of Africa which are hot and humid, but have a drier ‘hungry season’ (when main foods have to be stored until the rains for planting come around again), that kwashiorkor is a problem. In hot, damp conditions, stored corn, cassava and groundnuts can go moldy. It is known that poisons from the mold are not good for small children, especially those short of protein, but they are harmful to adult. This is certainly one, though maybe not the only reason for kwashiorkor

Therefore feed children, whenever possible, with fresh foods that haven’t been stored for long. (Adults can safely use up food that is slightly moldy).


  • Night blindness:-In children who don’t get enough vitamin A
  • Rickets:-From lack of vitamin D
  • Various skin problems, sores on the lips and mouth or bleeding and other foods containing certain vitamins.
  • Anemia:-In people who do not get enough iron.
  • Goiter:-From lack of iodine.

Dry Malnutrition

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