Malnutrition: The word conjures up images of suffering children in Third World countries, with swollen bellies, protruding ribs, and sunken eyes. But while those children are certainly severely malnourished, the condition is not restricted to those in dire poverty.
Malnutrition takes many forms and affects people of all socioeconomic strata—including the affluent and educated—all over the world. But what, exactly, is malnutrition?
In the broadest sense, it encompasses both undernutrition and overnutrition—that is, a state in which the body does not have the correct amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed to maintain healthy tissues and organ function. In a nutshell, it means it’s quite possible to eat a lot and still not be adequately nourished.