Malnutrition in Liberia Carolyn Cole/Getty Images

Les multiples aspects de la malnutrition

ABUJA – Si par hasard vous êtes assis avec deux autres personnes en ce moment, il y a de fortes chances que l’un d’entre vous souffre de malnutrition. Et ce n’est peut-être même pas vous. En effet une personne sur trois dans le monde souffre de malnutrition et les apparences peuvent être trompeuses.

Des deux milliards d’adultes qui sont en surpoids au 159 millions d’enfants dont la croissance est retardée, la malnutrition peut prendre un grand nombre de formes. En tant que médecin, je vois des femmes qui semblent en santé, mais qui souffrent d’anémie, en partie en raison d’une alimentation trop faible en fer. Et je vois des hommes relativement bien portants présentant des signes de gras abdominal, ce qui élève le risque de maladies cardiaques.

Les plus hauts taux de malnutrition du monde sont en Afrique de l’Ouest. Ceci représente l’aspect le plus visible de cette condition : environ 9 % des enfants de l’Afrique de l’Ouest âgés de moins de cinq ans sont décharnés, ou trop maigres pour leur taille. À son extrême limite, le dépérissement est fatal.

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