Does malnutrition exits in Malta?
It is rare to think of malnutrition in Malta, being a developed country. Usually, when we speak of malnutrition we are more likely to think about third world countries such as Somalia and Sudan. Most probably we picture extremely underweight children with a big belly who we see on national television during a charity show. Unfortunately, malnutrition is more common than we think so let’s in more depth about this topic and check if you can relate.
What is malnutrition?
Malnutrition refers to poor nutrition due to under/over nutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies. Undernutrition is when a person is not eating enough and might lead to stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiency. On the contrary, over-nutrition is when a person over eats which might lead to overweight, obesity and diet – related diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and kidney problems. Individuals who are over-nourished can still have micro-deficiencies in fact around 30% of women in their reproductive age from developed countries are affected by iron-deficiency anemia.
There are various medical conditions that can lead to malnutrition. Some of which are chronic diarrhea, chronic nausea, depression, Chron’s disease, dementia and eating disorders. These conditions all lead to either poor oral intake or poor nutrient uptake. Nowadays, new studies are also showing that people who are malnourish are also at a higher risk of getting coronavirus. Malnutrition has various signs and symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of malnutrition
- Unintentional weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Reduced interest in food
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feeling weak
- Getting ill often and taking a long time to recover
- Poor concentration
- Low mood or depression
Importance of a good diet
A varied and balanced diet is essential to keep you healthy and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. A proper diet refer to adequate carbs, protein, fats, fruit and vegetables. If, you suffer from any medical conditions get in touch for a tailored made diet in order to control the medical condition. A good diet for a specific medical condition may vary a lot from that recommended to the general public. In cases such as chronic nausea it may be suggested to decrease protein intake, increase carbs and fat intake and eat frequent snacks. This example illustrates the importance of an individualized diet/ meal plan done specifically for you.
I think that malnutrition is important to treat in order to prevent illness and complications of medical conditions. In other words, having adequate macronutrients and micronutrients in the diet will make you feel much better. A good diet will also affect your mental health reducing moods swings and anxiety throughout the day. A good diet is much more than simply how you look. It will affect your relationship with yourself, your family, friends and colleagues.