Malnutrition - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Rachita Narsaria
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Jun 09, 2017
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I see if I suspect malnutrition in a friend or family member or myself?

You must first consult a general physician or an internal medicine specialist who will identify if there is an underlying condition that is causing this malnutrition. If no condition is detected, then he might refer you to a nutritionist to help you chart out a balanced diet plan to meet your nutritional requirements.

2. Is malnutrition a disease?

Malnutrition increases the risk of developing an infection. It is not a disease by itself but weakens the immune system that further adds to the risk of developing other infectious diseases.

3. Is obesity a form of malnutrition?

Yes. Mal means ‘wrong or bad’. Malnutrition in any form is a threat to human health. Over nourishment leads to overweight or obesity. Eating too many calories does not provide sufficient minerals and vitamins. Consuming a diet in wrong proportion of nutrients leads to over nourishment.

4. What is the phenomenon of “stunting”?

Stunting or nutritional stunting or stunted growth is a result of under nutrition especially in children. The child will have retarded growth i.e. their “height for age” ratio will be less than the standard value. This might also result in poor mental growth and mental retardation.

5. What percentage of the Indian population is affected by malnutrition?

About one-third of the Indian population is affected by malnutrition.

6. What is the difference between malnutrition and hunger?

Hunger is a weakening condition caused by extensive lack of food while malnutrition is a condition caused by lack of vitamins, minerals found in the food.

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