Factors Influencing Malnutrition

Malnutrition, in all its forms, includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting in diet-related non-communicable diseases. There are 1.9 billion adults who are overweight or obese, while 462 million are underweight. 47 million children under 5 years of age are wasted, 14.3 million are severely wasted and 144 million are stunted, while 38.3 million are overweight or obese. –WHO

  1. Food availability and food accessibility
  • Food production
  • Geographic conditions
  • Agricultural techniques-use of hybrid seeds, fertilizers, pesticides
  • Insufficient amount of food
  • Poverty and hunger
  • Shops and market nearby living area
  • Transportation
  • Food industries
  • Government programs for food distribution

2. Ecological factors

  • Agroclimatic conditions
  • Geographical area-coastal, hill, plain etc.
  • Rainfall
  • Type of soil
  • Natural disaster- drought, floods cyclones etc

3. Environmental factors

  • Population density
  • Environmental sanitation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Availability of irrigation, industry etc.
  • Safe drinking water
  • Pollution
  • Use of radioactive substances

4. Socio-cultural factors

  • Family size and age composition
  • Trend of food preparation and distribution
  • Cultural taboos and beliefs
  • Religion

5. Economic factors

  • Poverty
  • Income
  • Un-affordability of nutrient-rich foods

6. Pathological conditions

  • Frequent episodes of infectious diseases like diarrhea, respiratory infections, malaria etc.
  • Chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure etc.
  • Mal-absorption syndromes
  • Infestations with worms
  • Sickness and hospital stay
  • Accidents, injury, operation trauma
  • Obesity and underweight

7. Personal factors

  • Appetite and hunger
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Irregular meal times
  • Tension  and violence in house at meal timings
  • Poor food habits during childhood
  • Poor selection and combination of foods
  • Excessive working hours, odd working hours, shift duties, and travelling

Anthropometric measurements, Anthro softwares and more