Malnutrition: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, and the way out will be discussed here. This is a way of contributing to salvaging malnutrition.
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Due to the poverty level in the country, people in some regions or states of Nigeria are faced with poor diet and hygiene because of their inability to afford good meals or sometimes their carelessness towards what they consume over time which ultimately leads to malnutrition.
When you talk about malnutrition, you simply mean a deficiency in diet adequate enough for the proper growth and development of the body.
Malnutrition is a result of either insufficient food or poor diet. This is often the case when a child or adult eats either too much, too little, or imbalanced meals.
It is not how well or much a person eats but how well balanced the meal is. It is common in Nigeria to find children who do not look their age when compared to children in other developed nations and this is high as a result of imbalanced meals and this is often called ‘undernutrition’.
Aside from undernutrition, sometimes malnutrition can result from a health condition in the victim’s body that prevents digestion of nutrients in the body hence leading to malnutrition.
According to the World Health Organization, one of the reasons why people, especially children under the age of 5 die is malnutrition although among the older people when they are isolated or have problems with movement, they can be malnourished too.
Malnutrition in Nigeria: Symptoms
- A malnourished person lacks interest in food at all times
- Undue tiredness (fatigue)
- He or she will lose focus
- No urge for sexual activities
- Weak limbs and will usually feel cold irrespective of the weather.
- Lose weight
- A poorly nourished person will readily get sick or wounded and take too long to heal.
- Should the victim undergo surgery, he will take very long to heal completely and in most cases, the victim will have some complications after surgery.
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Malnutrition in Nigeria: Causes
Malnutrition is caused by a host of many factors but the most common of them all is a lack of adequate food for the body to work with.
The body requires some level of nutrients to properly develop and when these nutrients are not supplied to the body adequately through the food we eat, there tend to be problems.
This is why the majority of those who are often diagnosed with malnutrition are those who eat little or nothing as a result of hardship, poverty, food scarcity, etc.
Other causes of malnutrition include:
- Health problems; either mentally, psychologically, or socially
- Challenges with the digestive system or other related nutrient absorbing systems.
- Taking in too much alcohol.
- Improper breastfeeding etc.
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Malnutrition in Nigeria: the way out
- A major cause of Malnutrition is food scarcity. To stop malnutrition, there should be enough food distribution within the country and this can be made possible where people are encouraged to practice more subsistence and commercial farming, food preservation, etc.
- A person who notices any symptoms of Malnutrition should be treated as soon as possible at a well-recognized health facility and should take in more fruits and supplements to enhance his eating habits.
- Smoking and alcoholism should be avoided at whatever cost. Smokers are liable to die young, though not instantly but once you become a perpetual smoker or alcoholic, you die gradually.
- Every meal eaten in the body must be balanced. They do not have to be expensive, just ensure that all the classes or food are present in every meal that you consume. Remember that it is not about eating food, it’s rather about feeding well with good meals.