By: Meredith King

What is Malnutrition?

Micronutrients are dietary components, often referred to as vitamins and minerals, which although only required by the body in small amounts, are vital to development, disease prevention, and wellbeing. Micronutrients are not produced in the body and must be derived from the diet. People who do not get enough food and micronutrients suffer from malnutrition. Malnutrition is a serious problem and affects our environment in many ways.

How is malnutrition affecting our health?

Deficiencies in micronutrients such as iron, iodine, vitamin A, folate and zinc affect nearly one-third of the world's population. At least half of the children worldwide ages 6 months to 5 years suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiency, and globally more than 2 billion people are affected. Malnutrition can result in sickness or even death. It can also cause anemia. Anemia during pregnancy increases the risk of maternal and perinatal mortality and low birth weight. Maternal and neonatal deaths are a major cause of mortality, together causing between 2.5 million and 3.4 million deaths worldwide.

Preventing Malnutrition

Malnutrition affects millions of people and the only way to stop it is through advocacy. There are many organizations that are working in third world countries to provide food. Asma Lateef says, “Improving nutrition in these first 1,000 days leads to immediate gains in mortality and morbidity reduction and lifelong gains in education, poverty reduction, and economic growth”. Improving nutrition includes focus on agriculture, social behavior, social protection, and health. Evidence shows that focusing on providing the right nutrition during the 1,000 days of a persons life can have large impacts in global health, including saving more than one million lives each year; significantly reducing the human and economic burden of diseases.

Work Cited

"Action Against Hunger Logo." Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <>.

"IMMPaCt - International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control Program." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 07 Apr. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2015. <>.

"PATH." Announcement: Nutrition Experts Discuss Global Efforts to Reduce Malnutrition -. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <>.

"Preventing Malnutrition." Preventing Malnutrition. N.p., 23 May 2013. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.

All pictures from iClipart for