Starvation occurs either due to famine conditions or an inadequate diet inadequate in proteins or an attempt at reducing weight. During starvation fatty tissue is lost and the skeletal, heart muscles and small intestine are atrophied losing its absorptive function. This results in low blood pressure, marked emaciation, loss of hair and inelastic skin. Since the feeding programme should be gradual initially glucose water, fruit juice and skimmed milk powder may be given..
Underweight also results from debilitating diseases like tuberculosis, diabetes, malabsorption syndrome or cancer. Infections are common among them. In these cases tonics are not useful as they only help to improve the appetite but they do not increase weight. It is wise and necessary to spend money on nourishing high calorie foods.