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Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

1. medicine any of various disorders resulting from inadequate food intake, an unbalanced diet or inability to absorb nutrients from food.
2. general lack of food or a very unbalanced diet.


Condition resulting from a defective diet where certain important food nutrients (such as proteins, vitamins, or carbohydrates) are absent. It can lead to deficiency diseases. A related problem is undernourishment. A high global death rate linked to malnutrition has arisen from famine situations caused by global warming, droughts, and the greenhouse effect, as well as by socio-political factors, such as alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, and war. In 1998 there was an estimated 180 million malnourished children in the world and malnutrition contributed to 6 million deaths annually, mainly among children. In a report released at the World Food Summit in Rome in 1996, the World Bank warned of an impending international food crisis. In 1996, more than 800 million people were unable to get enough food to meet their basic needs. Eighty-two countries, half of them in Africa, did not grow enough food for their own people; nor could they afford to import it. The Wo...    Continue Reading

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