Spotters in "Nutrition and Health: Nutritional problems in public health" for CFM & MPH students

1. Low birth weight:

Care for Babies with Low Birth Weight - Childs Care

Important features:
  • Birth weight less than 2500 gm is called Low birth weight
  • In India 18.6% babies born are LBW as compared to 4% in developed countries
  • Among LBW babies majority are suffering from foetal growth retardation and preterm
  • Maternal malnutrition & anaemia are significant risk factors
  • Other causes are hard physical labour during pregnancy, infections, short maternal stature, very young age, high parity, smoking, close birth intervals

2. Under nutrition:

(a) Kwashiorkor:

Kwashiorkor - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
Child with kwashiorkor - Stock Image - C023/5708 - Science Photo ...

Important features: 
  • It is a severe form of protein energy malnutrition
  • Main cause is inadequate protein intake & low concentration of essential amino acids
  • Protein/ Energy ratio is low in diet
  • Main symptoms are oedema, wasting, liver enlargement, hypoalbuminaemia, steatosis and depigmentation of skin and hair (flag sign)

(b) Marasmus:

a and b: (a) Severe wasting, (b) Marasmus with gluteal skin folds ...

Important features:
  • It is also severe form of protein energy malnutrition
  • Caused by inadequate intake of both protein and energy
  • A form of severe cachexia with weight loss as a result of wasting in infancy & childhood
  • Main symptoms are severe wasting with little or no oedema, minimal subcutaneous fat, severe muscle wasting & non-normal albumin levels

3. Xerophthalmia:

Xerophthalmia – Gluten Free Works: TREATMENT GUIDE

Important features:
  • Xerophthalmia or dry eye refers to all the ocular manifestations of vitamin A deficiency in humans
  • Most common in children of age group 1-3 years
  • Often related to weaning
  • Younger the child more severe is the disease
  • Victims mostly belong to poor families
  • Risk factors are ignorance, faulty feeding practices, infections example diarrhoea & measles
  • Preventive measures are administration of large doses of vitamin A, food fortification, good feeding practices & immunization

4. Nutritional anaemia:

Herbal Remedies for Anaemia, Ayurvedic Treatment - Causes & Symptoms
The Primary Strategies for Treating Anaemia - Sydney Gut Clinic
CS 9: Geriatric Anemia (Geriatric Anemia) Flashcards | Memorang

Important features:
  • It is a disease syndrome caused by malnutrition
  • Hb % of blood is lower than normal
  • Caused mostly by iron deficiency & less frequently by folate and vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Has many detrimental effects of health
  • Preventive measures are iron & folic acid supplementation, food fortification, good dietary habits, control of parasites & nutritional education

5. Iodine deficiency disorders:

The Iodine Deficiency Disorders - Endotext - NCBI Bookshelf
7 Signs of an Iodine Deficiency to Never Ignore »

Important features:
  • Around 71 million people suffering from IDD in india
  • There  are 4 essential components of National iodine deficiency disorders control programme
  • These preventive measures are iodized salt or oil, monitoring or surveillance, manpower training & mass communication

6. Endemic fluorosis:

Dental fluorosis causes, prevention, symptoms & dental fluorosis ...
Dentistry and Medicine: Dental Fluorosis

Important features:
  • Manifests as dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis & genu valgum
  • Occurs in areas where fluorine is excess (1.5 mg/L to 6 mg/L) in drinking water
  • Preventive interventions are changing the water source & chemical treatment of water example by Nalgonda technique

7. Lathyrism:

ODAP/BOAA: Its Genetics and Breeding Approaches in Lathyrus lathyrus
Patients with lathyrism. | Download Scientific Diagram

Important features:
  • It is paralyzing disease of humans & animals 
  • In humans it is called neurolathyrism & in animals osteolathyrism
  • Neurolathyrism is characterized by gradually developing spastic paralysis of lower limbs
  • Occurs mostly in adults consuming the Khesari dal (Lathyrus sativus) in large qunatities due to toxin BOAA
  • Stages of lathyrism are latent stage, no-stick stage, one-stick stage, two-stick stage & crawler stage
  • Preventive interventions are vitamin C prophylaxis, banning the crop, removal of toxin, parboiling & educaion

  1. Park, K. (2019). Park's textbook of preventive and social medicine. 25th. Jabalpur, India: M/S Banarsidas Bhanot.
  2. Kadri AM. (2019). IAPSM's Textbook of Community Medicine. 1st. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.
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