Module 04 Assignment – Nutrition and Disease

Module 04 Assignment – Nutrition and Disease




Nutrition plays a vital role in a person’s overall health and well-being. Not getting enough of the recommended nutrients over the long term can lead to malnutrition which often results in disease and illness.


In a 3-page paper, written in APA format using proper spelling/grammar, address the following:

1. Define malnutrition and identify a specific disease that can result from it.

2. Perform library research about the selected disease and explain its physiological effects on a person’s body.

3. Describe the relationship between specific foods/nutrients and the disease. Use the questions below to guide your response.



a)   Does research indicate that a lack of specific foods/nutrients increase a person’s chance of contracting the disease?

b)   Are there specific foods/nutrients that should be avoided by an individual afflicted with the disease?

c)   How do specific foods/nutrients work physiologically within the body to help combat the disease?

1. Evaluate nutritional recommendations to help combat the disease.

2. Cite at least 3 credible references and present the resources in APA format on the References page.






**Malnutrition and its Impact on Disease**


**1. Definition of Malnutrition and its Link to Disease**


Malnutrition refers to a condition where an individual’s diet lacks the necessary nutrients required for optimal health. This can occur due to inadequate intake, poor absorption, or excessive loss of nutrients. One specific disease that can result from malnutrition is kwashiorkor, a severe form of acute protein-energy malnutrition commonly seen in children in developing countries. Kwashiorkor is characterized by edema, muscle wasting, skin lesions, and impaired growth and development.


**2. Physiological Effects of Kwashiorkor**


Kwashiorkor primarily affects the body’s organs and tissues due to a deficiency in protein intake. Protein is essential for various physiological functions, including tissue repair, immune function, and hormone synthesis. In kwashiorkor, the body breaks down muscle tissue to obtain amino acids for vital functions, leading to muscle wasting and weakness. Additionally, the lack of protein compromises the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and delayed wound healing.


**3. Relationship Between Nutrients and Kwashiorkor**


a) **Lack of Specific Nutrients:** Kwashiorkor is primarily caused by a deficiency in dietary protein. However, inadequate intake of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, can exacerbate the condition. For example, a lack of essential amino acids, particularly lysine and tryptophan, further contributes to impaired protein synthesis and exacerbates the symptoms of kwashiorkor.


b) **Foods/Nutrients to Avoid:** Individuals with kwashiorkor should avoid foods high in empty calories, such as processed snacks and sugary beverages, as they provide little nutritional value and can worsen malnutrition. Additionally, foods high in antinutrients, such as phytates and tannins found in certain grains and legumes, can impair mineral absorption and should be consumed in moderation or avoided.


c) **Physiological Role of Nutrients:** Protein-rich foods, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes, are essential for combating kwashiorkor. These foods provide the necessary amino acids for protein synthesis and tissue repair. Additionally, micronutrients like vitamin C, zinc, and iron play crucial roles in immune function and wound healing, supporting recovery from kwashiorkor.


**4. Nutritional Recommendations**


To combat kwashiorkor, individuals should consume a balanced diet rich in protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. Nutritional rehabilitation programs often include therapeutic foods fortified with protein and micronutrients, along with nutrition education to promote dietary diversity and sustainable food practices.




Golden, M. H. (2009). Kwashiorkor: more hypothesis testing is needed to understand the aetiology of oedema. Malawi medical journal : the journal of Medical Association of Malawi, 21(3), 108–112.


Lelijveld, N., Seal, A., & Wells, J. C. (2016). Chronic disease outcomes after severe acute malnutrition in Malawian children (ChroSAM): a cohort study. The Lancet. Global health, 4(9), e654–e662.


World Health Organization. (2013). Guideline: updates on the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children. World Health Organization.

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