MALNUTRITION: The sad reality.

Written by Gambo Deborah

It is nearly impossible to walk down a regular street in Nigeria without seeing a child who is malnourished. Despite the giant strides and efforts that have been put in the health and social sector, it is undoubtedly true that a lot still needs to be done.


However, malnutrition does not only refer to deficiencies, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy or nutrients as many may seem to think. Excesses in consumption of unhealthy food in diets may lead to obese. It is quite uncommon to find undernourished and overweight within the same community, household or even individual.

Unhealthy  food , malnutrition

According to global nutrition report, the latest assessment shows that just under 50% of countries are in course to meet at least one of nine global nutrition targets. However, no country is on target to meet all of the nine targets that are being tracked, and just five countries are on track to meet four. Sadly, both adults and children are victims of malnutrition around the world in every country. According to Wikipedia, Democratic Republic of Congo has 29%, Eritrea 67%, Burundi 44%, and Haiti 63%. Around 1.9 billion adults world wide are overweight.

An estimated 41 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight, or obese, while some 159 million are stunted and 50 million are wasting. The dangers and effect of malnutrition cannot be underestimated especially in war ravaged areas often afflicted with famine and drought. The steady increase in the rate of poverty has largely contributed to the above figures as families and households are forced to live in abject poverty denying them with the ability to afford and have access to enough nutritious food like fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, meat and milk.


Symptoms of malnutrition may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Hollow cheeks
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of fat and muscles mass
  • Dry hair
  • Dry skin
  • Sunken eyes
Symptoms  of malnutrition

though the signs/symptoms of malnutrition depends on the type. Being able to recognize the type of malnutrition can help people and health care providers identify and treat issues related to under-or-overnutrition.

Policies have been established in recent times to help checkmate the cumbersome and deadly effects of malnutrition and how to address it.

In April 2016, the United Nations general assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming the UN decade of action on nutrition from 2016 to 2025. It is necessary and important for health and social authorities to ensure several programs and opportunities are created to help raise the standards of livelihood ensuring families have access to and can afford healthy meals.


The health of children and adults are not to be taken for granted especially on the basis of malnutrition.

Malnutrition  in children
Symptoms of Malnutrition


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8 thoughts on “MALNUTRITION: The sad reality.

  1. Quite agree with that Chelsea. Sad but true—and scary. Malnutrition can come in a number of ways. I wonder if you have seen the film “Food, Inc.” (Robert Kenner, 2008). I do recommend that if you haven’t. 🙂 Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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