Effects of Malnutrition on the Body

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Wohltman 1 Amanda Wohltman Mrs. Hatfield Pre- AP English II 30 April 2015 How does malnutrition physically affect the body? Malnutrition is a lack of sufficient nutrients in the body. Malnutrition is usually obtained when a person does not get enough food; not only do they not get enough food, but they do not get nutritious food which is very important for one’s health. This has many negative effects on the body (see Fig.1). Some of the effects are a decline in muscle function, reduction in cardiac muscle mass, and a worsened immune system. These symptoms of malnutrition can lead to even worse and more serious illnesses. Although it has many psychological effects, malnutrition can also dangerously impact the body. Therefore, nutrition plays a very important role on the health aspects of the body: The relative importance of each class of problem varies and multiple factors often occur simultaneously. Physical factors, usually associated with illness, are the predominant cause of malnutrition in UK adults, although psychosocial issues have significant effects on dietary intake in some groups (e.g. the socially isolated, the bereaved, poor quality diets in low income groups and some older subjects). Since malnutrition both predisposes to disease (Table 7) and is simultaneously an outcome of disease, patients may enter a downward spiral of ill-health due to malnutrition-disease interactions. (NCBI) Muscle function relies primarily on nutrients received through nutritious foods and vitamins. A loss of fat and muscle mass is commonly the biggest sign of malnutrition. The Wohltman 2 Fig. 1. "Malnutrition and Cancer." - Cancer Council Victoria. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.

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