Medical Awareness >>   Malnutrition



Malnutrition occurs when an individual's diet does not produce enough or the right balance of nutrients for optimal health.

Reasons for malnutrition may involve improper dietary options, poverty, difficulty accessing food, and numerous physical and mental health conditions.

Undernutrition is one type of malnutrition that occurs when the body does not get enough food, leading to delayed growth, low weight, or wasting.

Without the right balance of nutrients, one can get malnutrition, and therefore, it is possible to be obese with malnutrition.

Having too little food, a poor diet, or a condition stopping the body from obtaining the right balance of nutrients can severely impact a person's health, and it can even be life-threatening.


Some symptoms of malnutrition involve:

  • lack of appetite 
  • tiredness and irritability
  • inability to focus on anything
  • always feeling cold
  • depression
  • sudden, continual loss of weight
  • often getting sick 
  • taking longer to heal
  • wounds taking a longer time to heal 
  • critical complications post-surgery

In the long term, a person may also experience difficulty in breathing and heart failure. 

In children, there may be:

  • a lack of growth and less body weight
  • tiredness and a decrease in energy
  • irritability and anxiety
  • slow behavioral and intellectual growth, which might result in learning difficulties

In some instances, malnutrition can have long-term consequences.

Anorexia nervosa is one of the reasons for extreme malnutrition.


Treatment will depend on the severity and the underlying conditions or complications of the person. It may involve:

  • ongoing screening and monitoring
  • making a dietary plan
  • treating distinct symptoms, like nausea
  • treating existing infections
  • examining for any mouth or swallowing problems
  • recommending alternative eating utensils
  • intaking potassium and calcium like nutrients intravenously for several days

The individual should be continuously monitored to ensure that they get sufficient nutrients.

Fact sheet

Numbers: The predominance of underweight, stunted, and wasted children under five was shockingly 35.7, 38.4, and 21.0 percent in 2015-2016 studies.

PGC resolution: Spreading awareness and controlling malnutrition in India. Providing guidelines and information on healthy diets, obesity and overweights, and to end malnutrition for achieving the diet-related targets in India.