Effects of under nutrition in different age groups

Lesson 1: Under nutrition – causes and effects

Effects of under nutrition in different age groups

  1. Young children: Research studies revealed that under nutrition during early childhood, can lead to stunting of physical growth, which cannot be corrected even with good diet at later years of life. Under nutrition is associated with sub-optimal intellectual development and neuro integrative competence in children. Even in later life, their mental performance continues to be low.

    The major nutritional deficiency signs among preschool children are protein energy malnutrition (PEM), Vitamin A deficiency and vitamin B complex deficiency. Recent NNMB survey of rural children has shown that only about 20% of children are normal with weight above 90 per cent of the standard. A majority of them exhibited mild or moderate malnutrition, while 5.0 per cent of children are severely malnourished.

  2. Pregnant and lactating women: Nutritional status of pregnant women influence the condition of offspring at birth. If pregnant women subsists on inadequate diet, maternal malnutrition leads to high incidence of premature birth, low birth weight and high neonatal and maternal mortality. Children born with low reserves of iron and vitamin A are more prone to diseases.

    Anemia is a burning problem in pregnant and lactating women, Incidence of low birth weight infant, child and maternal mortality rates are high in India.

  3. Men and women: National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) data reveals that only about half the adult population in India have normal nutritional status, while the rest suffer from different degree of Chronic Energy Deficiency (CED).
    Under nutrition affects the work capacity and in turn, it reduces the productivity of the individual. Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) is also a public health problem. Sample surveys conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services in 216 districts of 25 states in India have identified 186 districts as IDD endemic with a goiter rate of over 10 per cent.
    As per the results of these surveys, no state in India is free from iodine deficiency; 167 million people are considered to be at risk of IDD of whom 54 million have goiter.

    A hungry man is a social liability. He cannot work, cannot learn, cannot build up resistance to diseases and hence retards economic and social development of the nation. Thus malnutrition has enormous socio-economic implications affecting not only the personal development but the development of the country.
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Last modified: Tuesday, 29 November 2011, 6:59 AM