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Underlying causes

(go to Outline)
The third perspective is the underlying
causes of malnutrition. The UNICEF
framework gives three main categories
of underlying causes, as shown in the
following schema.

Household food insecurity, or the lack


of food, is a major factor in many
humanitarian emergencies. Displaced
populations are often separated from

their normal source of food. Although


some agencies, such as the World Food
Programme, have standardized
methodologies specifically to assess
food insecurity, there are no consensus
recommendations regarding assessment
methods. One simple way to crudely
estimate the contribution of household
food insecurity in a malnourished

population is to compare the prevalence


of acute protein-energy malnutrition in
children less than 2 years of age to the
prevalence in children 2-4 years of age.
Older children normally have a lower
prevalence rate of acute malnutrition,
but if food insecurity is an important
factor, they too will become
significantly malnourished.

Poor social and care


environment often consists largely of
poor infant feeding practices, poor home
care for ill children, and poor health care
seeking behaviour. Nutrition surveys
will often ask questions about
breastfeeding, general feeding practices,
and home care and clinic visits during
the last episode of illness. However, this

is not the only applicable method for


assessing the contribution of this group
of underlying causes.
Poor access to health care and
unhealthy environment can often be
assessed using disease surveillance data
and program data. In nutrition
assessments, surveillance data for those
diseases which are known to have

substantial and rapid impact on


nutritional status, such as dysentery and
pneumonia, should routinely be
analyzed. Many such diseases can
produce rapid weight loss even in
children and adults with normal predisease nutritional status. The
environment can be assessed with
standard indicators of sanitation and

water supply (for more information, see


section on Water Supply, Sanitation, and
Shelter).

Malnutrition may

not be what you think and even worse,


you may not realize you are
malnourished! There is a definitive line
between nutrition and malnutrition.
Malnutrition, as defined by Mosbys
Medical Dictionary 7th Edition: any
disorder of nutrition. It may result from
an unbalanced, insufficient, or excessive
diet or from impaired absorption,

assimilation, or use of foods. Compare


deficiency disease.
Deficiency disease, as defined
by Mosbys: a condition resulting from
the lack of one or more essential
nutrients in the diet, from metabolic
dysfunction, or from impaired digestion
or absorption, excessive excretion, or
increased biologic requirements.

Look at the photo to the right. Is only


one person suffering malnutrition or are
they both malnourished?
What is the difference
between malnutrition
and subclinical malnutrition?
There is a difference between
malnutrition and subclinical

malnutrition. Malnutrition is a serious


clinically diagnosed problem whereas
subclinical malnutrition is rarely
observed or addressed by our current
medical system.
Subclinical malnutrition simply means
that you are deficient in one or more
essential nutrients that include minerals,
vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids.

Subclinical malnutrition is extremely


deceiving and heres why
You may look and feel
perfectly healthy,
You may easily show
excellent results using current
blood panels,

You may not be experiencing


any symptom whatsoever,
You may occasionally
experience annoying
symptoms clinically
undiagnosed.
Subclinical malnutrition may be present
for years or even decades before any

symptom or even a sudden onset of a


degenerative disease manifests. Have
you ever wondered how someone you
know went from being perfectly
healthy one day and diseased the next?

Malnutrition is not a poverty


condition!
Unfortunately, if you are like most, you
would never consider you are
malnourished because you normally
associate malnutrition with poverty
nations. After all, no one shows an
American as being malnourished.

However, malnutrition is an equal


opportunity and nondiscriminatory
condition. It crosses all socioeconomic
boundaries and includes people that only
consume the highest quality foodssuch
as organics.
For the most part, Americans are overfed and malnourished because we live in

a society where fast and processed foods


are dietary staples.
We are what we eat and what we eat
depends on the soil that produces it,
declares Dr. William A. Albrecht,
University of Missouri. Human health
troubles often come from poor nutrition
which weakens the body. With its

defenses down the body is less able to


resist the attacks of bacteria and other
forces. CASS CITY CHRONICLE
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1947.

What contributes to
malnutrition?
Many things have changed since the
time Dr. Albrecht made the
statement we are what we eat. Today,
there is a long list of factors contributing
to malnutrition. Some include:
Stress

Improper or poor food


selection (fast foods,
processed foods, etc.)
Improper dietary
supplements (arbitrary
consumption without lab
analyses)

Toxins (chemicals and heavy


metals)
Medications (prescription and
OTC)
Unhealthy lifestyle habits
(alcohol, lack of exercise, etc.)
Any factor that interferes with your
nutritional status should be considered.

Fortunately, many common factors


contributing to malnutrition may be
overcome with a healthy eating plan and
simple lifestyle changes.

The Western
Diet IS malnutrition!

The Western Diet is


associated with the term Western
Diseases!

The Western diet, predicated on


convenience and profit, consists of fast
foods, processed foods, and genetically
modified foods. Obviously, Americans
are surviving on these foods as dietary
staples but their nutritional value is
lacking.
As you know, we have the most
expensive medical system in the world

yet so many diseases are epidemic. In


fact, many of which are referred to as
Western diseases such as
cardiovascular disease and a variety of
cancers. Obesity, recently declared a
disease by the AMA, can now be
included.
As you know, most of these common
degenerative diseases are closely

associated with myriad nutrients such as


osteoporosis is associated with calcium
and vitamin D. This is grossly
misleading because America overconsumes calcium and vitamin D and
yet osteoporosis remains a problem!
Malnutrition also creates a tremendous
potential for generational health
problems as seen infamily planning. In

addition, your reproductive and sexual


health (both male and female) are also
affected.
Ask yourself the following question.
Why do we worry about cigarettes when
our current foods are contributing to
more disease than cigarettes ever did?
Its ironic the quality of our foods are
never mentioned.

However, when it comes to food


selection in the Western diet, remember
this important rule:
Convenient foods are not healthy
Healthy foods are not convenient!

Can you survive if you are


malnourished?
Interestingly, yes you can!
In fact, you may be in a state of
malnutrition (subclinical) and not even
realize it.
Fortunately, you possess a
tremendous margin of safety for
survival. This simply means you can

survive even though you are


tremendously abusive to your mind and
body. There is, however, a definitive line
that when you cross, things will begin to
go wrong (manifestations of symptoms
and disease).
Is malnutrition is gaining ground on
your health and your children? Every
day, more fast foods, processed foods,

pharmaceuticals, OTC meds, toxins,


inheritance, and stress are beginning to
show the long-term ramifications of
various states of malnutrition.
Think for a moment, you now have a
pharmacy on almost every corner in
America and in every major
supermarket chain. In addition, medical

facilities are being built at a record


number.
Are these the results of a healthy or
malnourished society?

Are you in a current state of


malnutrition?
One of the simplest and most
economical ways to know is a hair tissue
mineral analysis. Essential minerals are
foundational in nutrition and toxic
elements interfere with essential
minerals, amino acids, and vitamins.
Order your Hair Analysis today!

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REFERENCES
MALNUTRITION