- It presents as protein - energy malnutrition (PEM)
- It includes such conditions as being underweight, Marasmus and Kwashiorkor
- Malnutrition occurs due to either chronic lack of food or lack of the protective foods that are required for a healthy life, or a combination of both situations.
- Marasmus is caused by deficiency of protein as well as energy nutrients while Kwashiorkor is caused by the deficiency of protein.
- In the first 2 years of life, infants born of malnourished mothers die either of malnutrition alone or from gastrointestinal and respiratory infections to which they are easily susceptible.
- When malnutrition occurs during growth and adolescent stage of life, it leads to poor stature, a low state of health and a generally low working capacity.
- Statistics: It is estimated that between 50 - 66% of the world's population suffers from malnutrition; it is the 5th major cause of death in Kenya.
##Classification of macronutrient malnutrition;
- Mild malnutrition (applies to a child below 5 yrs of age who has failed to gain weight for 2 consecutive months)
- Moderate malnutrition (-2SD ≤ weight to height Z-score ≥ -3SD and / or 11.0cm ≥ Mid Upper Arm Circumference [MUAC] ≤12.5cm
- Severe malnutrition (weight to height Z -score ≤ -3SD and /or MUAC ≤ 11.0cm with or without edema)
##A part from the lack of adequate and well-balanced food, malnutrition can be caused by the following conditions:
- Liver disease
- Persistent pain or nausea
- Old age