Classification of Malnutrition in Children

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines malnutrition as the cellular imbalance between the supply of nutrients and energy and the body’s demand for them to ensure growth, maintenance, and specific functions.

Malnutrition generally implies undernutrition and refers to all deviations from adequate and optimal nutritional status in infants, children and in adults. In children, undernutrition manifests as underweight and stunting (short stature), while severely undernourished children present with the symptoms and signs that characterize conditions known as kwashiorkor, marasmus or marasmic-kwashiorkor.

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