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Malnutrition’s Long-Term Effects: Implications for Egypt’s Future Generations

Jul 12, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jul 12, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


My gratitude and appreciation go out to my professor Dr. Sherin Darwish who guided me all the way in conducting this research paper. Thank you for always pushing me further and being the real definition of a mentor. I would like to also thank Dr. Mary N Rizk who offered me her time and professional perceptions.


This research is aimed at analyzing the consequences of practical methods amongst students in larger research studies. malnutrition, which is one of the problems that majorly affect developing nations worldwide. The reason why it was important to conduct this research is to determine whether a solution can be arrived at in helping solve this issue.

This research was conducted among 340 people of different age groups, gender, and class in Egypt to gain insights into their opinions on the consequences of malnutrition. The study participants, in this case, were randomly selected since the issue cuts across people of all backgrounds, social status, income levels, just to mention a few. After the selection of the study participants, both the qualitative and the quantitative techniques of data collection were employed. Interviews were used as a tool in qualitative technique, while questionnaires were used in the quantitative method of data collection.

However, the findings for this study were that a majority of the respondents were victims of malnutrition because they did not know 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 conclusion to this research was 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. Proper health education on malnutrition by the government is important in the sense that it will help in creating awareness among mothers on how to feed their children healthily, and will also help other people, especially the youths in making healthy decision making when it comes to making choices on what to eat thus curbing the problem of peer influence from friends among the youths.


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Obesity and starvation are two extreme components of malnutrition and it is a public health problem to be found worldwide.  Even though poor nourishment is basically related to poverty, poor health conditions, and lack of financial resources in under developing countries, one cannot help but notice how in other more opulent countries different generations also suffer from malnutrition. However, their poor health state is due to fear of gaining extra weight or poor eating habits.  There, people seem not to be aware of its negative impact on their quality of life. These habits are found from a very early age until later on in life.

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.  As mentioned above, in third world countries it is easier for both children and adults alike to get infected by harmful diseases due to the poor environmental circumstances they live in. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1995), it acknowledges the fact that malnourished children undergo tremendous weight loss exposing them to greater risks such as loss of life. Hence, this researcher finds it of great importance to lay the focus on the long-term impact of child malnutrition and obesity and how being malnourished affects one’s educational and healthy life. As an Egyptian citizen herself, she wants to know what are the dangerous effects of malnutrition on the upcoming generations of Egyptians?

Although many types of research shed light on this plague of the society, this research will explore further the topic aiming to raise 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 who claims that malnutrition is affecting only the poor, disregarding that obesity kills three times as many as the former (Adams, 2012).

Literature Review

Essential factors/ fundamental causes

Food and water are the most essential factors for every human being: if they are healthy and clean, then this human being is halfway guaranteed to have a healthy life. Kimberly Moore Waggoner (2011) a researcher who works at George Town University and got inspired by the global increasing attempts to clean drinking water, claims that unfortunately, this is not the case with 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. Moore makes use of the data and methods offered by the Demographic and Health surveys (DHS) on children under five in many different countries in this region (Kenya, Ghana or Ethiopia) (UNICEF, 2010). Furthermore, she offers four different “models” to prove her point. In the end, she concludes children’s malnutrition has a direct relationship with the lack of access to clean activities that result in physical healthiness. For example, proper diet, ensuring that all meals are balanced, and taking a lot of water and decent sanitation facilities (Waggoner, 2011). This researcher finds this is a problem to be found in Egypt too; for instance, the villages who illegally build residences on clean drinking activities that result in physical healthiness. For example, proper diet, ensuring that all meals are balanced, and taking a lot of water pipes have mixed them with the sewage canals, causing a lack of clean water. Therefore, many children have been affected by such irresponsible acts. There is also a comparison between the three mentioned above countries and the manager or the Human Resource Coordinator is usually electronically done. LinkedIn and recruitment agencies in Egypt all have an almost similar climate, and they are Nile Basin countries.

As was mentioned above, food and impact on our environment. Sometimes I find myself moving from the city and take a walk in the countryside where we have trees and freshwater are intrinsic necessities of human wellbeing. Hence, Khaled Khatab (2010) is a professional researcher in economics and Medical Statistics at Aachen University (RWTH) whose claim connects both fields: economic and medical. In his research, he asserts that even though there has been a positive change in developing countries for resolving the malnutrition issue among children under five, yet the illnesses continue to affect a great percentage of children. Egyptian youngsters, he declares, are no exception. Khatab, just like Moore (2011), makes use of the Demographic and Health surveys (UNICEF, 2010) on children under five, and he defines three different malnutrition types:

Wasting or insufficient weight for height indicating acute malnutrition; stunting or insufficient height for age indicating chronic malnutrition; and underweight or insufficient weight for age which could be a result of both stunting and wasting (2010, 3).

Adding to this method the analysis of the statistics he owns, he concludes that the major reasons leading to malnutrition at this young age, are both the social and the economic factors, not excluding the important role of the mother be her educated enough or not, or a working one (Khatab, 2010). As this research focuses on Egypt as a developing
country, it is easy to find the link between what the author claims and the current thesis. Along with his help, the researcher will attempt to find out solutions for this young generation.

Similarly, Ann Ashworth (2005), a professor affiliated with the Nutrition and Health Intervention in London, UK, emphasizes in her claim the adequacy integrates severe malnourished kids making use of all four delivery systems as will be explained below. Thirty-three studies were inspected, and the four primary conveyance frameworks were day-care nourishment focuses, private sustenance focuses, essential wellbeing centers, and domiciliary consideration with or without the procurement of nourishment.  It is impossible that a solitary conveyance framework will suit everyone worldwide and the decision will rely on local elements. After observing the results, 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 (Ashworth, 2005). This research could be beneficial to the researcher as it provides different methodologies and successful solutions already proven in the West, and that could be possibly applied in Egypt, too.

In the section that follows the researcher adds further to the factors highlighting how one should not forget that women or caregivers lack proper information on how to feed children, especially in developing countries. Dr. Renuka Manjunath (2014) is an Indian doctor and a member of the community medicine in Mysore, India. She is also an expert in Pediatrics, Nutrition, and Dietetics. She claims that malnutrition is still considered as one of the major public health problems in many countries around the world, and children in India, specifically in Kadukuruba, are no exception to it. Dr.Manjunath conducted a cross-sectional study of five different children related to one of the tribes in the abovementioned village. After observing the results, she concluded the children are being so much affected because mothers or other caregivers lack the right information; therefore, they must be educated about it (Manjunath, 2014). This researcher believes that this resource is useful because it exposes problems like starvation effecting basically children. Unfortunately, both the developing countries, India and Egypt, for quite a long time have children who undergo poor eating habits or whose deficient diets lead to starvation. The actual question is how long this will last, and how to raise awareness among mothers or other caregivers or mothers. This is a valid point compatible with one of the aspects tackled by the researcher, and adds to the deterioration of this societal phenomena and “the need to reach the unreached” as Dr. Manjunath (2014) suggests in the article.

As explained earlier by Dr. Manjunath that parents play a major role in malnutrition. Other experts in the field who are three members of the World Health Organization in 2007 Zottarelli, Sunil, and Rajaram (WHO, 2007), have been gathered for the sole purpose to identify the parental role in malnutrition. They evaluate the connection between maternal and financial qualities and the dietary condition of kids less than five years in Egypt. The Information was based on the 2000 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey, and the logistic relapse strategy was utilized in highlighting the given opportunities. After researching they came up with the result that kids whose mothers had a larger amount of instruction and were bigger than 150 cm had less danger of hindering than those whose mothers are not trained and are shorter. Maternal affiliation, country habitation, high conception request, and short conception interim fundamentally expanded the chances of hindering. Measuring the child’s height and weight measures a great deal more than a single tyke, these additionally measure the future of the whole country (WHO, 2007). This article relates to the topic of this researcher directly because all the statistics and researches are made in Egypt in 2007. It also illustrates the major elements leading to this phenomenon. The whole topic is about youngsters who have guidance from authorities, at least in this phase.

Immediate causes

Having defined the most essential factors for human wellbeing this investigator of the current research paper will now move on to discuss the transition of how immediate causes, which are ignored most of the time, lead to long-term dangers of malnutrition. The latter has immediate causes that occur in the short run resulting in diseases and insufficient dietary intake. That is why Kathryn G. Andrews (2012), a researcher at Washington University in the Department of Global Health whose claim emphasizes that kids lacking good health is a widely spread phenomenon and may affect their adulthood too. She goes on to add other malfunctions such as irresistible sicknesses, intense diseases, measles, jungle fever, and protein-vitality hunger. In the wake of utilizing all accessible information to produce the time arrangement of hindering and underweight, she utilizes the relative danger evaluation system. After observing, Andrews comes up with the results that there have been empowering decreases somewhere around 1980 and 2011 in Asia. Yet, in other regions like sub-Sahara in proposal and thesis writing. Nairobi. Kenya. Pauline’s Publications Africa, Brazil, or Botswana the global community must offer good examples from the success stories to avoid further deterioration or high rates of malnutrition in the aforementioned countries (Andrews, 2012). At last Andrews’s research has a relation with the present researcher as they both believe that obesity is also considered a destructive power of children’s health. Moreover, obesity is also an important factor of malnutrition which affects children resulting in many health aspects causing different diseases such as respiratory or intestinal infections and much more as mentioned in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute report (2012).

As explained earlier in the introduction, obesity is an extreme component of malnutrition. The following section explores the claim of the Department of Sociology (2010) that most of the American youth are overweight or large. For this reason, they are exposed to an expanded dangerous list of health concerns as an outcome of weight. Hence, keeping in mind the battle for the well-being of adolescence, a non-benefit association – Project Healthy Schools (PHS) started teaching understudies about the significance of good dieting propensities and physical action. PHS executes a plan which diminishes the dangers of infections and diabetes offering, thus, on how to live a heart-healthy life (Project Healthy Schools, 2010). The analyzing tools used in this consideration are: estimation instruments including cafeteria perceptions, center gatherings, semi-organized meetings, and behavioral studies to evaluate the effect the project has on understudy practices. After extending projects to address different components of impact, including the structure of the cafeteria, regulatory backing, and family impact, the author concluded that it is likely school-based mediation projects are more fruitful in fighting this challenge (2011). The researcher can apply the same methodology to the middle and elite classes in Egypt who are suffering from a lack of proper nutrition.

Turning now on the childhood obesity matter, Lisa J. 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 (Benson, 2010). According to her observations adolescence is connected to various natural, hereditary, and mood fluctuations. Another perspective of hers centers attention on the maternal occupation which appears to have an impressive impact on youth corpulence, however little is thought about the part of fatherly practices in youngsters’ overweight and corpulence. The present study addresses this imperative information crevice by looking at the main effect of parental impacts on youngsters’ overweight and stoutness as measured by body mass record (BMI). Environmental, psychosocial, and hereditary factors may contribute to an increase in youth weight rates. Parental decisions and limitations likewise apply a significant impact on children’s weight results. The author concludes that according to the hypothesis given on the impact of maternal employment highlight mothers and caregivers relation to children rather than with adolescences (Benson, 2010).

To conclude, the three above mentioned researches along with the results deriving through their observations, confirm the intimate relationship between the immediate causes and malnutrition.

Long – term causes

So far this paper has focused on the factors leading to malnutrition and the immediate causes. The coming section sheds light on the health-wise long-lasting effects of this phenomenon. Danit Rivka Shahar (1997) who is a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev asserts through statistics that malnutrition is a common concern which influences 11% to 22% of elderly medicinal outpatients, it also adds to overabundance dreariness furthermore, mortality. Early recognition of dangerous elements for lack of healthy sustenance can be the first stride to create mediation projects to keep the disorder. 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). After observing, the author that both weight reduction and weight addition are very pervasive among the elderly. Weight reduction is connected with expanded age, diminished well-being status, psychological as well as physical working, and expanded discouragement.

Last but not least, Marie K. Richards (2000) a professor at North Carolina University assesses 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. Numerous components natural, hereditary, and ecological, and their collaborations muddle the relationship in the middle of stoutness and hindering, yet little research has been done to outline between these elements or even to substantiate their rough relationship. The outcomes demonstrate a twofold danger of overweight advancement connected with hindering studies from Brazil (Richards, 2000). To summarize, the two researchers claim that malnutrition is present in the elderly because its immediate causes were not taken care of, appropriately. Over time, they became long – term causes affecting, thus, the seniors.

Conclusion & Research Gaps

This researcher faced two Fatale limitations while doing her secondary research which is the 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 then s/he might suffer from malnutrition. Also, there are immediate causes that occur in the short run resulting in diseases. If we ignore such illnesses in 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 rate of malnutrition has drastically increased and it has to be acknowledged by the public to actively diminish this issue. The main purpose that made it necessary to start with primary research is raising awareness among caregivers especially mothers to take care of their child’s nutrition from a very young age and answering the question: what are the dangerous effects of malnutrition on the upcoming generations of Egyptians and how to avoid them blowing up into such an acute problem?


The primary investigation of the consequences of malnutrition requires a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods in research. The qualitative part helped this researcher in having deeper and broader information about the topic. As for the quantitative part, this researcher sent out an online survey to 340 people, and 100 responses were received. The questionnaire helped to discover how people define “healthy” and how they deal with their health through the kind of food they eat, the portions, and the timing. The survey was open for one week and people of different age groups, genders, and classes answered 10 questions. Asking people in the survey similar questions to the ones inquired from the expert is to know how a specialist deals with this phenomenon while on the other hand how people understand it. An interview with an expert in the field was conducted with the specialist, Dr. Mary N Rizk, a professor of internal medicine at Cairo University and a former Endocrine fellow WI in the USA who answered five questions in all confidentiality.
The methods used in approaching people are anonymous and confidential they are just for an academic purpose; it is neither threatening nor going to be held against the respondents.
The participants were informed about the purpose of the survey and they contributed under their own will and ease.

This researcher tried as much as she could to be objective while doing the survey and interview to give people the space to answer freely, however, the contributors are from a very small segment of the society as the lower classes in Egypt mostly do not have internet access to answer an online questionnaire. The other limitation this researcher faced was a lack of time; 14 weeks for such a wide topic made it hard to sum it up in the restricted time frame.


The online questionnaire was sent to people on WhatsApp, which includes most of the people this researcher knows of different ages, backgrounds, and social standards. Out of 340 people, 100 contributors took the survey. The results were as shown below


Figure 1 reveals that about 6% were between 7 -11 and 5% are between 12 – 17. The majority were between 18 and 24 which is about 46% of the total of 100 respondents. Notably, there were only two between 25 and 30 who answered. A large number of respondents were above 30 (41%).


Figure 2

79% out of 100 respondents were female, which was more than three third of the total number of contributors and 21 male responded, which was less than one-third of the total number of respondents.


Figure 3 The respondent’s favorite order and the system records the total number of clients anticipated to attend. This helped in budget making especially on the food varies from one person to another. 25% liked vegetables and fruits, 23% like fruits, 18% preferred Junk spread of foodborne disease. Part 9. Washing and drying of hands to reduce microbial contamination. Journal of food and the same percentage of contributors liked proteins. As for carbs, it had the least percentage 16%.


Figure 4 shows that the majority (35%) eat fast food every two weeks. 21% of the respondents eat fast food three times a week. The contributors do not eat it every week with a high percentage of only 9%. 16% of respondents eat Junk food monthly and they rarely intake it for 19%


Figure 5 reveals that 73% of the sample’s biggest meal is lunch. Fewer people, about 15% of the contributors have their breakfast as their biggest meal. Only 12% are not healthy enough and they eat much at dinner time.

Comments (Fig. 6):

  • Good health and shape
  • I feel sick lots of times
  • Exercising and eating healthy food
  • Muscle mass
  • Good health and regular physical exercise with good size and body shape
  • It’s a state of mind, l believe I’m a healthy person + being the right shape & size
  • Being muscular as a result of weight lifting bs also having a high level of endurance. Masalan a guy can be really bulky and muscular bs if u put him on a treadmill hatla2i bytala3 fl roo7. Fa I think the combination of being muscular and having a high level of fitness/endurance is the best
  • Being healthy having the right amount of nutrients for your body and your age.
  • In good health because of eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Figure 6 The majority of respondents (39%) define fit as being in good health because of regular physical exercise. 7% see themselves in good health even though they do not regularly exercise. 18% describe being fit as being the right shape and size needed. There were no responses for being naturally muscular and only one response for muscular due to exercising and weight lifting. 12% defined being “fit” as just being healthy and not sick and also 12 others identified this term as being in a good physical state regardless of the size and shape. Only 2 respondents of the 100 wanted to be skinny and wear all the clothes they wish to. The 9% left have different responses and they do not categorize “fit” as one of the above-mentioned options.

Comments (Fig. 7):

  • To eat carbs and vegetables or protein and vegetables
  • Eating healthy food, small portions in dinner ( fruits or salad )
  • A diet that has all kinds of food in ut
  • Eating the correct portions and kinds of food
  • Being able to eat what you want at certain times and not having to completely stop eating junk food for instance
  • A diet that contains all kinds of food in good portions
  • Lots of protein, veggies & fruits. Some diary & carbs
  • Eating healthy, no junk food at all
  • Eating nutritious food and no empty calories.
  • Very healthy food
  • You don’t want to ruin your diet
  • A diet that involves all different types of food; carbs, proteins, fats, etc
  • That contains vegetables and carbohydrates
  • Contain all types of food
  • Eat vegetables and fruits and proteins and drink a lot of street vendors, the government prohibited their sale. Therefore, the investigators narrowed it down to the water.
  • To have balance in all kinds of food and be away from fats and junk food
  • Small quantities of all food types
  • Carbohydrates+ proteins
  • A balanced diet is eating the right amount of food to achieve and maintain healthy body weight.
  • Contains carbs, protein, and vegetables
  • Containing all elements
  • Mixed nutrition
  • Don’t ever eat after 8:00 pm
  • a diet consisting of the proper quantities and proportions of foods needed to maintain health or growth.
  • Eat a small portion from everything Drink street vendors, the government prohibited their sale. Therefore, the investigators narrowed down to the water
  • Eating daily plenty of veggies and fruits, a good portion of carbs (daily) to give energy if u are physically active. Rarely meat of any kind (maybe once per week) And a fair amount of protein (2-3 times every week)
  • Eating healthy food, and exercising.
  • Eat all that you want, but in small portions
  • A diet that contains all types of food with the appropriate amount of each
  • Eating all of everything
  • It’s a diet
  • I don’t know
  • Eating proteins..carbs&vegetables in moderate portions
  • A diet that has all nutrients and the right amounts.
  • It mainly depends on ur goals. So if I were to define it, I’d say it’s the diet that brings you closer to your goals (as long as they’re healthy goals tab3an :P). So for a basketball player masalan like myself, I’d not only need a high amount of protein but also a diet rich in carbs. So u just find the split that drives you closer to ur goals bs as a basic requirement, it should contain all 3 main types protein, carbs, and fat.. with the split b2a that brings you closer to the results you want
  • I don’t know
  • Combination of carbs, protein, and fibers (a guess)
  • Protein and vegetables
  • Protein, carbs, and vegetables
  • Combination of vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, 1-2 servings of Carbs per day, smoothies, yogurt,
  • It is a diet that has all the right amount and kind of nutrients a person needs every day.
  • Eating from all food types in moderation.
  • Eating all kinds of food that the body needs and in the right portions.
  • All types of food in reasonable portions
  • To eat healthy food.
  • The one where you get all your basic needs
  • Eat everything, low fat, last meal 3 hrs b4 bed
  • Good breakfast, neutral lunch, and no diner
  • Eating healthy
  • Eating healthy food that does not have much fat in it
  • Half vegetables/fruits, quarter lean protein, quarter whole carbs.
  • Containing all the proteins, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals you need
  • Eat breakfast well Vegetables proteins bread Youghrt fruits
  • Eating all you love in the right amounts and proportions in a healthy way that doesn’t harm yourself
  • One where you get the right vitamins, the right amount of carbs and proteins, within a reasonable calorie range
  • Little portions of everything
  • Contains the optimum quantity of all items the body needs.
  • One that has all the different nutrients in the right amounts.
  • A satisfactory and healthy breakfast, a smaller portion at lunch, and a very light meal at dinner. Plus two healthy snacks during the day.
  • Small portion every 2 hrs
  • A healthy diet
  • A one that hits your daily macros while having essential vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies
  • Not to eat many carbs and sweets and to eat more vegetables and fruits and drink much water.
  • A one that contains carbs protein and fat
  • There is no BD
  • lots of veggies less sugar and salt
  • Contain all the essential elements in small amounts and a large number of vegetables and fruits
  • You eat everything that your body needs but in a certain amount.
  • The one that has the required nutritious elements suitable for a healthy body
  • Eat all you want with small portions No junk whatsoever
  • Eat every type of food (proteins, carbs, etc) in balanced portions
  • The one that suits your lifestyle
  • Balancing between the right types of food and exercising
  • Protein..carbs..salad
  • A diet that contains all nutrients needed for the body with equal amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, etc.
  • A diet that contains the right amounts of nutrients that are necessary for a body’s health
  • One that includes all necessary nutrients. Not lacking any or over-taking any
  • To eat healthy food and a little bit of everything
  • Eating food that contains all nutrients that are healthy for my body.
  • The pyramidical one starts with the largest meal and ends with the smallest. Breakfast–> lunch –> dinner. With a balanced amount of carbs, fats & protein based on your needs
  • A diet that contains all the food in the food chain
  • All the right nutrients your body needs to be healthy
  • Fruits, vegetables, and proteins
  • Around 1700 calories/day
  • .
  • One that provides you with healthy food but also includes the food you want to eat occasionally
  • Having the perfect amount of everything without gaining weight
  • Contain protein, fibers, and carbs
  • Eating 3 meals a day and making them right not junk.
  • Little meal for breakfast A bigger one for lunch A very little one for Dinner(fruits and Yogurt for example)
  • A meal that contains carbs and proteins
  • A balanced diet is eating every type of food which the body needs in an appropriate proportion
  • Eating a bit of everything
  • Organizing food portions, type of food, and kind of food to eat
  • Carbs and proteins = gain
  • A diet that is full of everything carbs sugar protein vegetables and fruits
  • Null
  • Eating all food classes in the right amounts
  • To eat every type of food but with some exceptions
  • One of each type. Not too much of one thing.

Figure 8

When asked if they were ever on a diet or not, 56% of the contributors have been on a diet to look beautiful. 14% were dieting to be muscular and 6% wanted to gain weight. However, there were 24% of the respondents have never been on a diet.


Figure 9

About 68% of the sample rarely and barely exercise but they still see themselves as healthy. 15% exercise 1 – 2 times a week and 17% workout a minimum of 5 days a week. 35 out of the 100 respondents train on and off and almost the same percentage rarely exercises (33%).


    • Children and media
    • I think it’s a combination of all the above!
    • All the above
    • Poverty and lack of education
    • All the above
    • Overpopulation with poverty
    • Don’t know
  • Nutrition Education from an early age, Change of Habits and culture
  • The government is mainly responsible because they don’t tackle the problem and educate people about the importance of one’s health and how to look after it.
  • All of the above
  • Yes
  • Its a disaster

Figure 10 reveals that 41% blamed mothers/ caregivers for children being malnourished. 13% saw the media are responsible for this business interventions in most companies and industrial sectors. Russian politicians held prominent seats with invalid certifications from cultural issue. Also, 9% gave the blame to the friends who encourage human beings to eat junk food. 13% of responsibility is given to the government and another 11% is for the child itself who refuses to eat proper food. The percentage left was 13 different responses other than the options given.


An interview with Dr. Mary N Rizk, a professor of internal medicine at Cairo University and a former Endocrine fellow WI in the USA was conducted. She answered five general questions about the researcher’s main hypothesis. When asked about the majority of patients (age & gender) and what they mostly suffer from (obesity or starvation), she said that they mostly suffer from obesity, rarely starvation cases. 70 % of the patients are females and 30% are males and obesity leads them to several health issues which she described later. Then, this researcher wanted to know if there were other causes of malnutrition other than lack of food or poor diet. Dr. Rizk stated that poverty, low socioeconomic status, lack of education, and proper nutrients are the main causes of malnutrition. She suggested that her patients have to exercise regularly to guarantee a healthy life.

When questioned about the misconceptions of patients about a “balanced diet”, Dr. Mary said that Egyptians do not even think about this term; they do not have a specific definition of a balanced diet, they just eat what comes in their ways regardless of its healthiness. Dr. Rizk believed that this dilemma is due to the unaffordability of proper food and the lack of education that makes them care less about the kind of food they eat. When asked about the motivation and depression of patients and whether they deal with the doctor as if s/he is making magic and they become too dependent on the dietary restrictions, Dr. Rizk said that her clients are usually depressed of the way they look and agreed with this researcher and they do not want to do some extra effort. Dr. Mary tries motivating them to have better health to prevent them from diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. Last but not least, the psychological part of this issue is that obese people have a poor self-image and lack of self-confidence. She tries to do some cognitive therapy, gives them hope for a speedy recovery, and makes them write a gratitude journal to recognize the changes they undergo. She said that they cannot lose weight unless they are psychologically stable which makes the mental and physical part correlated.


The findings from our study indicated that a few of the respondents preferred junk food as opposed to eating healthy. A majority of the respondents confirmed that they consumed junk food after every two weeks, with most of them taking such kind of food at least three times a week. However, some factors may make people prefer eating junk food and this may include social status, whereby people from the high social class can afford to take such foods, which in most cases is expensive. Apart from that, the other factor that can make one prefer junk food is peer influence. This problem has majorly been associated with the youths who make choices on what they should eat as a result of influence from their friends. On the other hand, it was also noted that a majority of the respondents were healthy, with only a few of them being unhealthy. On the other hand, the results also indicated that a few individuals were healthy, and this may be due to factors such as junk food being unaffordable to them, or possession of knowledge on healthy eating.

Besides that, a majority of the respondents also thought that being fit was associated with conducting regular exercises such as weight lifting. In this regard, a few of the respondents did not exercise since they viewed themselves as healthy with only a majority of them conducting regular exercises and workouts. Conversely, regular exercises may either lead to a loss or gain in body mass depending on the type of exercise. For instance, when one enrolls in aerobics, he or she may end up losing weight. On the other hand, when one enrolls for weight lifting, there is a likelihood that they may gain weight.

Apart from that, only a few of the respondents described being fit as one being healthy and not getting sick. This result concurs with the findings of the research that was conducted by Andrew in the year 2012. However, the perception of not getting sick as being healthy is not valid. This is because, one may either be overweight or underweight as a result of malnutrition, which is an indication of being unhealthy.

The other findings for this research were that a majority of the female respondents were on a diet for them to look beautiful with only a few of the male respondents who were on a diet for them to be muscular. Also, only a small proportion of the respondents have never been on diet. Conversely, many women engage themselves in a dietary routine for them to lose weight so that they may get to the ideal thin. This move may be associated with starvation in case the victim does not meet her daily dietary requirement, thus leading to malnutrition. Apart, men who condition themselves on the diet for them to be muscular may end up overeating, and this may lead to obesity.

On the other hand, when it comes to the issue of who is to blame on the issue of malnutrition, a bigger proportion of the respondents claimed that it was the mothers to blame for such malpractice, with only a few of the respondents claiming that malnutrition was as a result of the influence from their friends as mentioned earlier. In this regard, mothers are the ones to blame on the issue, especially when children are involved. This is because; they are responsible for what their children take since children cannot make dietary choices on their own. In this case, if the mother decides to give her child junk food, the child will end up being obese. Contrastingly, if the mother gives the child healthy food, the child will end up being healthy. Therefore, mothers play an important role in determining the health of the child as far as nutrition is concerned. The finding of this research on blaming mothers on the incidences of malnutrition among children is in line with the findings of the research that was conducted by Moore, in Wagoner, 2011, and is also in agreement with the research that was conducted by Khatib in the year 2010.

Besides many respondents claiming that it was the mothers to blame on the issue of malnutrition, a few other respondents claimed that it was the government that was to blame for the issue of malnutrition. The reason behind this is that the government plays a regulatory role, and this may help in solving the issue of malnutrition. For instance, the government can help in reducing the consumption of junk food by ensuring that it reduces its demand. The demand for such unhealthy food can be reduced by government action of increasing the taxes that are charged on junk food and reducing the taxes that are charged on healthy food, thus making healthy food to be more affordable. The findings for this research on putting the blames on the government on the issue of malnutrition are in agreement with the research that was conducted by Moore, in Wagoner, 2011. Similarly, these findings are also in agreement with the research that was conducted by Khatab in the year 2010.

Moreover, the results from the interview indicated that a majority of the malnutrition patients were female, who basically suffer from obesity. Obesity among women is majorly associated with the consumption of fast foods. Apart from that, many roles in their general health. For instance, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and childbirth only affect women unlike men who do not like engaging themselves in physical exercises and this may be the other reason for them being obese. For this reason, it is advisable that role in their general health. For instance, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and childbirth only affect women should be made aware of the effects of junk food on their health, and should also be encouraged to conduct physical exercises regularly.

Furthermore, the respondent to the interview further indicated that poverty, low socioeconomic status, lack of education, and proper nutrients were the main causes of malnutrition. People of low socioeconomic status are associated with low levels of income, and for this reason, may not be able to afford their daily dietary requirements thus leading to malnutrition. Apart from that, nutrition education is the other factor that may affect the choice of healthy food. People who do not possess sufficient nutrition knowledge may not be in a position of blending proper nutrients into their diet, and this may also lead to malnutrition. The issue of lack of knowledge of what a healthy diet is is in line with the findings of the research that was conducted by Manjunath in 2014. Finally, it was also noted that the main challenge facing the treatment of malnutrition was that they had a poor self-image and also lacked confidence in themselves.

Conclusion and recommendations


It can, therefore, be concluded that malnutrition is basically attributed to a lack of knowledge of what comprises a healthy diet. The effect of this is that an individual will end up consuming a combination of one type of food such as carbohydrates or proteins for quite some time, thus leading to malnutrition.

Apart from that, it is also evident that many people do not conduct regular exercises and workouts for them to keep healthy. Regular exercises and workouts are important in curbing the incidences of obesity which is attributed to malnutrition.

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. This is because mothers are the ones who determine what their children should take. This means that they are the determiners of the health of their children. Conversely, the government as a regulatory authority may either encourage or discourage the consumption of junk food by enforcing its taxation mechanism.

On the other hand, it was also noted that poverty, low socioeconomic status, lack of education on proper nutrients were the main cause of malnutrition. Poverty is linked with people of low socioeconomic status. Persons under this level may not be in a position to afford the basic food requirements, and this may lead to malnutrition. Apart from that, lack of education on proper nutrients can also lead to poor food combination, and this may lead to malnutrition.

Lastly, the malnutrition victims had a poor perception of their self-image and also lacked confidence in themselves. These issues were common especially among women who had not attained the ideal thin.


One of the recommendations is that 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.

Besides that, the government should also put in place a compulsory regular exercise program and make it compulsory for everyone to participate as this will help in curbing the incidences of obesity which is caused by malnutrition.

It is also the responsibility of the government to put in place measures that can help in curbing poverty, and ensuring that there is proper health education on malnutrition.

Apart from that, 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 thus leading to malnutrition, and for this reason, they should make healthy eating decisions without considering the opinions of their friends.

Last but not least, the medical practitioners in the field of malnutrition should undergo relevant training that will help them acquire skills that are needed in boosting the level of self-confidence of their patients, as well as improving their self-image.

Finally, the other recommendation is that those men and women who want to condition themselves on the diet for them to get muscular or ideal thin respectively should seek consultation from the experts on how this should be done. Failure to do this may make them obese or starved which are some of the consequences of malnutrition.


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Retrieved from http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/85274/egoyert.pdf

Khatab, K. (2010). Childhood Malnutrition in Egypt using Geoadditive Gaussian and

Manjunath, R. (2014). Malnutrition Among Under – Five Children Of Kadukuruba Tribe:

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factors on stunting in children under 5 years in Egypt. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/117383/1/13_6_2007_1330_1342.pdf

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longitudinal approach (Order No. 9968659). Available from ProQuest Dissertations &Theses Global. (304609462). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304609462?accountid=8423

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malnutrition in Sub-Saharan developing countries in Africa. Frank uses his own experiences to explain how technology has grown and is developing Africa. Retrieved from https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/bitstream/handle/10822/553951/waggonerKimberly.pdf?sequence=1

Appendix A

Survey: Consequences of malnutrition

Hi, my name is Fatma. Please fill out this survey for my Research class with Dr. Sherin Darwish; it won’t take you 2 minutes. I would like to know how you think about malnutrition and its effects. Your responses are totally anonymous; they are just for my study.

Thank you in advance!

Top of Form

1. How old are you?

  • 7 – 11
  • 12 – 17
  • 18 – 24
  • 25 – 30
  • Above 30

*2. Are you?

  • Female
  • Male

*3. What is your favorite kind of food?

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Desserts
  • Junk food
  • Proteins
  • Carbs

*4. How often do you eat fast food?

  • 3 times a week
  • Weekly
  • Every two weeks
  • Monthly
  • Rarely

5. What is your biggest meal in the portion?

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

*6. ​In your opinion, which statement best defines​s​ “fit”?

  • In good health because of regular physical exercise​
  • ​In good health,​ although I don’t get regular physical exercise​
  • Be​ing​ the right shape and size
  • Being naturally muscular (without exercising)
  • Being muscular because of bodybuilding or weight lifting
  • Just feeling healthy and not being sick
  • Being in good physical condition​ regardless of ​size​ and body shape
  • Be​ing slim and able to wear all the clothes you like
  • Other (please specify)


*7. What is a balanced diet?

  • *8. Did you ever diet to change the way you look?
  • Yes, to lose weight and look beautiful
  • Yes, to be muscular
  • Yes, because I needed to gain weight
  • No, I have never been on a diet

*9. How often do you exercise?

  • ​1-2 ​ times a week
  • At least 5 times a week
  • On and off; it depends if I have time
  • Rarely

*10. Is there a malnutrition problem in Egypt? If yes, then in your opinion, who is to blame for malnourished children​ in the Egyptian population?​

  • Media​ because they don’t educate viewers about good nutrition.
  • Mothers/ Caregivers because they don’t pay enough attention or insist the children eat well.
  • Friends because they influence each other to eat junk or fast food
  • Government ​ because good quality food and food outlets are too expensive and not reliable.
  • Children themselves by refusing to eat what they are told.​
  • Other (please specify)


Appendix B

Interview with Dr. Mary N Rizk

  1. What is the majority of patients (age & gender)? Do they mostly suffer from obesity or starvation?

70 % of the patients are females and 30% are males. Dr. Mary’s clients mostly suffer from obesity that leads them to several health issues.

  1. Other than lack of food or poor diet, are there other causes of malnutrition?

Doctor Mary stated that poverty, low socioeconomic status, lack of education, and proper nutrients are the main cause of malnutrition. She suggests that her patients have to exercise regularly to guarantee a healthy life.

  1. What are the misconceptions of patients about a “balanced diet”?

Egyptians do not even think about this term they do not have a specific definition of a balanced diet they just eat what comes in their ways regardless of its healthiness. Dr. Mary believes that this dilemma is due to the unaffordability of proper food and the lack of education that makes them care less about the kind of food they eat.

  1. Are people motivated or depressed? Do they deal with you as if you are making magic and they become too dependent o your dietary restrictions?

The clients are usually depressed about the way they look and they become too dependent on the dietary restrictions; they think it is magic and they do not need to do some extra effort. Dr. Mary tries motivating them to have better health to prevent them from diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.

  1. Does it turn into a psychological problem? If yes how do you overcome it?

Obese people have a poor self-image and lack of self – confidence. Dr. Mary tries to do some cognitive therapy, she gives them hope for a speedy recovery and she makes them write a gratitude journal to recognize the changes they undergo. Their psychological problems and their loss of weight go together.

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