Most frequently, malnutrition speaks to an inadequate diet. Two major types of malnutrition are protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient malnutrition. Malnutrition is especially prevalent in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. In the developing world, one in three children under the age of five is malnourished. While young children are particularly susceptible, pregnant women are also at higher risk for the implications of malnourishment. Other than the forms of protein-energy malnourishment, the primary manifestations in developing nations include iron, iodine, vitamin A, and zinc deficiencies. Malnourishment is estimated to be directly responsible for 300,000 deaths annually and indirectly responsible for about half of all deaths among young children.

Protein-energy deficient malnutrition is of particular concern as it can lead to starvation. In 2000–02 ...

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