Malnutrition in the United States

The most pressing nutrition problem in this country is malnutrition. Malnutrition in the US comes in the form of “too much” rather than too little – too much saturated fat, too many hydrogenated fats, too much sodium, too much refined sugar, too many calories.

In addition, the nutrient deficiencies created by our modern diet cause the body to be more prone to viruses, disease, infections and so on. In short, we are overfed and undernourished.  The foods we eat, even when we are making good choices, lack the proper nutrient content because of the way we harvest, store and prepare our foods.

According to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, “Malnutrition occurs in people who are either undernourished or overnourished. Today, in the U.S., more children suffer from malnutrition due to dietary imbalances rather than nutritional deficiencies.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, malnutrition is a very serious concern for elderly Americans and “is often caused by a combination of physical, social and psychological issues” and can lead to “various health concerns, including:

  • A weak immune system, which increases the risk of infections
  • Poor wound healing
  • Muscle weakness, which can lead to falls and fractures”

According to Harvard Global Health Institute Director Sue Goldie, the Roger Irving Lee Professor of Public Health; “Nutrition sits amid three major problems of global health: the unfinished agenda of reducing malnutrition and infectious disease, the growth of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes (many of which have a dietary component) in developing nations, and globalization issues, where not only information and manufactured goods are exchanged, but also dietary habits and fast foods.”

According to Eileen Kennedy in the Journal of Nutrition; “A global nutrition transition has and is occurring on a continuum. While problems of under-consumption and poor nutritional status continue to exist, increasingly problems of diet/chronic diseases are emerging as significant public health issues globally.”

Are you getting the nutrients you need?

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