What are the causes of Malnutrition?



There are many causes for malnutrition. These causes can be divided in two main categories.

(A) Causes related to food.

(B) General causes.

(A) Causes related to food: A lot of causes related to food are responsible for malnutrition.

1. Lack of nutritious and Balanced Diet:

Lack of nutritious and balanced diet is responsible to a great extent for malnutrition in children. In our country, because of poverty, there is a lack of essential elements like Proteins, carbohydrates, fats etc. in everyday meal; hence, manifestation of malnutrition in children is natural.

2. Indigestive and Harmful diet:

Intake of indigestive and harmful diet is one of the main causes of malnutrition. Children belonging to the rich families do have expensive food items but in general these food items are indigestive and harmful. Intake of such type of food items often leads to lack of hunger and hence sometimes the children fall prey to malnutrition.

3. Lack of Regulated Diet:

Irregular intake of food is one of the main causes leading to malnutrition. The timings for breakfast, lunch and dinner must more or less be fixed. Indiscipline in this matter is very bad. This bad habit of taking irregular meals causes indigestion and finally results in malnutrition.

(B) General Causes

1. Dirty Environment:

Dirty environment of home and school also causes malnutrition. In Indian cities the home and school en­vironment becomes dirty due to lack of fresh and pure air, lack of sunlight, non-availability of playground, dirty lanes, which hampers right nutrition of children.

The children working in glass factories, leather industry, brick industry etc. face the kind of dirty, unhygienic and unhealthy environment, which is hard to imagine. Hence child labour must also be completely banned so as to avoid the children from such filthy environment.

2. Lack of Sound Sleep and Rest:

Lack of space and suffocated bedroom causes lack of sleep. Besides this excess of homework and Television watching in late hours causes lack of sleep. Lack of sleep results in indigestion, which leads to malnutrition. Lack of proper and sufficient rest also leads to malnutrition.

3. Negligence of Children:

Negligence of children at home and in school causes anxiety in children. This also results in malnutrition.

4. Bodily diseases:

Many children being infected from the diseases are neither able to have balanced diet nor their bodily functions take place properly resulting in malnutrition.

5. Heavy work:

The digestive process of children gets affected because of continuous hard work. Especially for the children of low income- groups, the heavy labour uncoupled with balanced diet take a toll on their physical and mental development. Nearly forty percent of total children in India suffer from malnutrition.

6. Lack of Exercise and Games:

The lack of exercise and games also leads to malnutrition. Even if a child takes a balanced and nutritious diet, the lack of exercise and games results in slowing down of digestive process and consequently the food is not digested properly causing malnutrition. This also causes physical deficiencies.