This research is aimed at analyzing the consequences of malnutrition. This research was conducted among 340 people, randomly selected of different age groups, gender and class in Egypt with the aim of gaining insights into their opinions on the consequences of malnutrition. The study applied both the qualitative (interview was used) and the quantitative techniques (questionnaires) of data collection. The findings of the study indicated that the majority of the respondents were victims of malnutrition because they did not have the knowledge of what comprised a healthy diet. It was also noted that the government, friends and mothers when it comes to children, play a significant role in healthy eating. The paper concluded that lack of knowledge of a healthy diet was the main reason for malnutrition, and for this reason, it was recommended that the government should put in place health education over the issue of malnutrition
Obesity and starvation are two extreme components of malnutrition and it is a global public health problem.
Poor nourishment is basically related to poverty, poor health conditions and lack of financial resources in under developing countries. This is also seen among different generations in developed countries because of fear of gaining extra weight or poor eating habits.
Childhood is the most critical stage in one’s life when it comes to nutrition because at this age the body develops the immune system making it possible for the child to fight possible diseases.
World Health Organization report of 1995 acknowledged the fact that malnourished children undergo tremendous weight loss exposing them to greater risks such as loss of life. Hence, the report found it important to lay the focus on the long-term impact of child malnutrition and obesity and how being malnourished affects ones educational and health life.
This research will explore further the malnutrition topic with an aim of creating awareness that malnutrition is affecting both rich and poor standards comparably. The statistics and the records will then be compared to those mentioned by the World Bank in 2015 which claimed that malnutrition is affecting only the poor, disregarding that obesity kills three times as many as the former (Adams, 2012).
Essential factors/ fundamental causes
Food and water are the most essential factors for every human being
Waggoner (2011) in his research found out that there are increasing attempts to clean drinking activities that result to physical healthiness. For example, proper diet, ensuring that all meals are balanced and taking a lot of water globally. However, he noted that this is not the case with the Sub-Saharan Africa which still suﬀers from clean water supply shortage. Moreover, it aﬀects the youth of the region, causing thousands of malnourished children with destructive mortality rates.
The findings are evident in Egypt too. For instance, the villages who illegally build their residences on clean drinking water pipes have mixed them with the sewage canals, causing lack of clean water. Therefore, many children have been aﬀected by such irresponsible acts.
In his study, Khatab (2010) asserted that even though there has been a positive change in developing countries for resolving the malnutrition issue among children under five, the illnesses still continue to affect a great percentage of children including the Egyptian youngsters. The study concluded that the major reasons leading to malnutrition in this young age, are both the social and the economic factors, not excluding the important role of the mother being educated enough or not, or a working one.
Similarly, Ann Ashworth (2005), emphasizes in her claim the adequacy to integrate severe malnourished kids making use of the all four delivery systems. The four primary conveyance frameworks were day-care nourishment focuses, private sustenance focuses, essential wellbeing centers, and domiciliary consideration with or without procurement of nourishment. From the study, the author concluded that every one of the four conveyance frameworks could benefit the children by reducing exposure to hospital-acquired infections. At the same time they help maintain a balanced financial status which less costly for the families.
Manjunath (2014) in her cross sectional study of ﬁve diﬀerent children concluded the children are being so much aﬀected because mothers or other caregivers lack the right information; therefore, they must be educated about it.
In a WHO report compiled by Zottarelli, Sunil and Rajaram and identified the parental role in malnutrition. They evaluated the connection between maternal and financial qualities and the dietary condition of kids less than five years in Egypt.
Andrews (2012) in her study emphasized that kids lacking a good health is a widely spread phenomenon and may affect their adulthood too. The research has relation with the present study as they both believe that obesity is also considered a destructive power of children’s health.
Benson (2010) is a doctor in Philosophy and an expert in the field. She points out that childhood obesity is a noteworthy general wellbeing issue leading towards human services expenses, diminished personal satisfaction and mortality. She further observed that adolescence obesity is connected to various natural, hereditary and mood fluctuations. Another perspective of hers centers attention on maternal occupation which appears to have impressive impact on youth corpulence
Long – term causes
Danit Rivka Shahar (1997) asserts through statistics that malnutrition is a common concern which influences 11% to 22% of elderly medicinal outpatients, adds to overabundance dreariness and mortality. The author’s fundamental motivation behind this study is to recognize social, behavioral and health elements connected with ailing health in a sub-test of elderly individuals enlisted in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).
Richards (2000) assessed the utility of eating attitude parameters as indicators of dietary admission and nourishing danger. It analyzes the dietary patterns, dietary admission and goal nourishing results in an at danger subpopulation, specifically as of late widowed elderly. The outcomes demonstrate a twofold danger of overweight advancement connected with hindering studies from Brazil.
Limitation and research gaps
The limitation to the study when conducting secondary research was lack of time and most of the sources dealt with the long – term causes of malnutrition instead of being proactive in avoiding the magnitude of this harsh phenomenon.
Malnutrition is divided into two subcategories: obesity and starvation. There are two essential factors, food and water: if the human being lacks them than s/he might suffer from malnutrition.
There are immediate causes that occur on the short run resulting in diseases. If we ignore such illnesses on the long run it turns into disorders. The researcher believes that a major gap in diminishing this phenomenon is not putting the immediate causes into consideration and ignoring them until they become dangerous problems. The researcher believes that there is a lack of public awareness in Egypt. It is a developing country with a high percentage of uneducated people.
The study applied both qualitative and quantitative methods in researching. For the quantitative part, this researcher sent out an online survey to 340 people and 100 responses were received. An interview with an expert in the field was also conducted with the specialist, Dr. Mary N Rizk.
Confidentiality of the participants was maintained
The results were based on the questions in the questionnaire
Q 1: majority of the respondents were aged between 18-24 years (46%), followed by above 30 at 41% and the least were 12-17 years at 5%
Q2: majority of respondents were females at 79% and least were males at 21%
Q3: 25% of the respondents also indicated that their favorite food is vegetables, 23% liked fruits, 18% preferred Junk food and the same percentage of contributors liked proteins, and lastly carbs had the least percentage of 16%.
Q4: The majority of the respondents eats fast food every two weeks (35%), followed by 21% of the respondents at three times a week. Those who rarely eat fast foods were at 19%, monthly at 16% and weekly at 9%.
Q5: for the biggest meal in portion, 73% indicated lunch, breakfast was 15% and the least was dinner with 12%
Q6: this question asked for definition of “fit.” The results are shown in the graph below.
Q8: when asked whether the respondents ever diet to change their appearance, majority at 56% indicated that they diet to lose weight and look beautiful, 24% have never been on diet, 14% to be muscular and 6% to gain weight.
Q9: for the frequency of the respondents exercising, majority are always on and off at 35%, followed by 33% who rarely exercise, and 17% which exercise 5 times a week and lastly 15% that exercise 102 times a week.
Q10: this question asked whether there was a malnutrition problem in Egypt and if I their opinion its present, who is to be blamed. The results are presented in the figure below
In summary, malnutrition is basically attributed to lack of knowledge of what comprises a healthy diet.
It is also evident that many people do not conduct regular exercises and workouts for them to keep healthy.
Besides that, it was the mothers to blame especially on the incidences of malnutrition to children; while on the other hand, it was the influence of friends and also the ignorance of the government to blame over the issue of malnutrition.
It was also noted that poverty, low socioeconomic status, lack of education on proper nutrients were the main cause of malnutrition
Lastly, the malnutrition victims had a poor perception of their self-image and also lacked confidence in themselves
The government should put in place measures that will ensure that people are knowledgeable on what comprises a healthy diet, and this is through the introduction of health education over the issue.
The government also should also put in place a compulsory regular exercise program and make it compulsory for everyone to participate
The government should also put in place measures that can help in curbing poverty, and ensure that there is proper health education on malnutrition.
Awareness should be created among mothers on the importance of malnutrition to children, and also the youths should be aware that peer influence from friends may affect their healthy eating
The medical practitioners in the field of malnutrition should undergo relevant training that will help them acquire skills that are needed of them in boosting the level of self-confidence of their patients, as well as improving their self-image.
Finally, the people who want to condition themselves on diet to get muscular or ideal thin respectively should seek consultation from the experts