In many areas of the globe, malnutrition is a common problem, and a well-known factor of infant and child mortality rates in regions with little food availability and limited medical resources. Not getting enough nutrients (causing malnutrition, retarded growth and related problems), or lacking the proper balance of nutrients (causing micronutrient deficiencies), has many negative effects on an individual’s body and long-term health outlook. It affects all aspects of the anatomy, with a profound impact on the nervous system. These neurological effects are long-term, and greatly impact a person’s ability to function. Early detection is crucial since proper nutrition may prevent many of the developmental abnormalities.
For example, malnutrition can lead to problems in the cognitive development of children. Malnourished children may have difficulty remembering things, have poor reasoning skills, and experience trouble paying attention, all issues which can negatively affect school performance and long-term well-being. Additionally, the lack of energy associated with not getting enough food can make children less playful and interested in their surroundings, circumstances which can further stunt their mental and emotional growth. With these extraordinarily serious effects, the problem of malnutrition should be addressed as soon as possible.