Eating junk food can lead to obesity. Image credit newtimes.co.rw

Eating junk food can lead to obesity. Image credit newtimes.co.rw

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Malnutrition

  • Malnutrition is lack of proper nutrition
  • It is a result of either not having enough to eat
  • Or not eating enough of certain nutrients that the body requires or
  • Eating too much of a certain type of nutrient of food component
  • It is a result of a person not eating a balanced diet for a prolonged period
  • The human body becomes malnourished when it does not receive enough of the right kinds of food
  • It can also be a result of under-nourishment
  • This is when a person does not eat enough food
  • Malnutrition can lead to diseases such as kwashiorkor

Kwashiorkor

Kwashiorkor. Image credit chronicle.co.zw

Kwashiorkor. Image credit chronicle.co.zw

Causes

  • It is a result of protein deficiency
  • This is when a child does not eat enough
  • It is common in children under the age of five (5)

Symptoms

  • The abdomen swells/An abnormally swollen belly
  • The skin cracks and becomes scaly
  • The hair takes a reddish/brown colour
  • Thin limbs (also known as Oedema in the limbs)
  • The child becomes very weak
  • Stunted growth

Effects of kwashiorkor

  • Prolonged protein deficiency may affect the liver
  • Stunted growth
  • Retards brain development

Obesity

A person with obesity. Image credit laseanrinique.com

A person with obesity. Image credit laseanrinique.com

  • Malnutrition can also be caused by taking too much of a certain kind of food
  • High carbohydrates intake results in the excess food being stored as fat under the skin
  • The person eating too much carbohydrates may gain weight and become obese
  • Obesity is a form of malnutrition

Symptoms

  • The person is overweight
  • The person might also have rolls of fat on their body

Effects

  • Increased risk of developing diseases such as
  • Heart diseases
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Bone and Joint diseases

Curing malnutrition

  • Most forms of malnutrition can be corrected by eating a balanced diet
  • Obesity can be cured by exercises and eating a balanced diet.

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.


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