Nutrition is of immense importance for physical and mental development. However, many people, especially in developing countries, are ignorant about it.
Protein, which is made up from different combinations of amino acids drawn from 20 naturally occurring types, is used for structural building. If provided in excess, it is used as an alternative carbohydrate, the energy source. It is actually the cheapest products, demanding 10-30% of the outlay for equivalent quantities of animal foodstuff.. May be the quality of animal protein is somewhat better, but the difference in price is usually so high that leafy vegetables are the cheapest sources of protein.
The loss of equilibrium between human population and its environment may be expressed in terms of deficiencies of all foods, sometimes called under-nutrition, starvation or famine. It is also expressed in terms of protein deficiency, generally called malnutrition and sub-nutrition and is indicated by the presence of various kinds of diseases.
Many people in the world do not take care of nutrition. However, lack of nutrition in humans results in loss of physical and mental energy and eventually death.
Most forms of malnutrition are caused by a deficiency of one or more of the main components of the diet apart from carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, fats and vitamins that are common in most developing countries like ours.
However, even where all the ingredients of balanced diet are available at prices people can pay, there are still some prejudices and taboos, which limit their use. For instance, it is common to regard animal proteins as undesirable during illness and for pregnant and lactating mothers even animal food in their diet.
Likewise, the tradition of feeding infants in combination of some form of sugar and water (frequently not boiled) until fats are replaced by breast milk not only deprives infants of a protein but also exposes them to infection. Actually, the deficiency or the absence of the present amounts and types of proteins is probably the most difficult to remedy.
Protein malnutrition occurs in both developed and developing countries to an extent, which is shown by impaired growth and mental as well as physical development. For example, if a group of babies or children respond to an improvement in the protein level of their nutrition in terms of growth rate and general health, then it can be assumed that this group has been suffering from a mild form of protein malnutrition.
In South Asia malnourished percentage of population is as much 53 percent compare to the overall poverty figure of 35 percent. The overall weighted average in this region for the incidence of child malnutrition is 57 percent in comparison with the poverty incidence of 35 percent.
Due to growing food problems, many children of this region will suffer from nutritional deficiencies like physical growth and mental retardation various other nutritional deficiencies caused by lack of zinc, selenium and other trace elements will affect a large number of region''s people. Apart from this, diet related communicable diseases and cancer will occur in this region.
Actually, poverty, social inequality and lack of education are the chief reasons for malnutrition in South Asian countries. It gravely affects the poor and disadvantaged households in these countries. It will not be reduced without the access to food.
Countries showing the characteristics of impaired growth and development in certain proportions of the population will have a larger proportion of population suffering from milder forms of malnutrition. However, the population deficient in milder forms of malnutrition can rapidly respond to an improvement in the amount and quality of protein intake.
Various other nutritional deficiencies caused by zinc, selenium and other trace elements will affect a large number of people of this world. reover, diet related communicable diseases and cancer would also occur in many countries.
Today, many countries, especially the developing ones, are plagued with a staggering rate of population growth. Unless population growth rates of these countries can be reduced, respective governments will be preoccupied with serious food shortage and therefore with the provision of food grains as the main source of calories. Actually, for a balanced diet, the proteins of these food grains would require to be fortified with the manufactured amino acids, which they are deficient in.
In future, nutrition will be a serious problem for the overwhelming majority of the people of this world. This is chiefly due to the runaway population growth and low agricultural production of many countries, especially in developing ones. Hence, the concerned authorities of each countries of the world should pay special attention to bring about improvement in this regard.