Malnutrition occurs when people do not have enough food to eat, or are unable to process the food properly. If the body does not have enough food, or the right balance of nutrients (i.e. proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins and minerals) it will be unable to function and grow properly.

Poverty, lack of food and poor or unbalanced diet can lead to malnutrition. Although this is more common in developing countries (such as India, Africa, China and south America), it can occur also in developed countries.

Celiac or Crohn's disease can make it difficult to process the nutrients from the food, thus leading to growth problems. Malnutrition can also occur in people with anorexia, swallowing problems and in those with an extreme loss of appetite.

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