Nestle, Marion Department of Home Economics and Nutrition, Division of Education, New York University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:March 2018
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- Primary (diet-induced) malnutrition
- Secondary (illness-induced) malnutrition
- Protein–calorie (protein–energy) malnutrition
- Deficiencies of single nutrients
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Impaired health caused by a dietary deficiency, excess, or imbalance. To support human life, energy (from fat, carbohydrate, and protein), water, and more than 40 different food substances must be obtained from the diet in appropriate amounts. Malnutrition can result from the chronic intake of any of these substances at levels either below or above ranges that are adequate and safe, although the term most commonly refers only to deficient intake. The condition of malnutrition can result from inadequate intake of nutrients or from faulty digestion, assimilation, or metabolism. In general, malnutrition increases the risk of infection and disease (see illustration). See also: Disease; Energy metabolism; Infection; Metabolism; Nutrition
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