World health report

Conquering suffering, enriching humanity

Nutrition-related disorders

Besides being disease entities, nutrition-related disorders are underlying factors in chronic diseases. An appropriate diet is essential in the avoidance of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, certain forms of cancer and liver disease, and dental caries. An inadequate diet produces two main types of metabolic nutritional disorder: protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient disorders (mainly deficiencies). Chronic undernutrition occurs when long-term food consumption is insufficient to cover the requirements for daily energy expenditure; acute malnutrition (wasting) occurs when food consumption is suddenly severely reduced. Malnutrition has been found to underlie more than half of deaths among children in developing countries.