Malnutrition and Academic Performance Essay

2667 Words Feb 23rd, 2013 11 Pages
Introduction Malnutrition as defined is the lack of a sufficient quantity or quality of nutrients to maintain the body system at some definable level of functioning. It has been estimated that 37-80 percent of all pre-school children in the developing countries like Philippines suffer from protein calorie malnutrition as assessed by the manifestation of syndromes, nutritional indexes, and weight deviations (Bengoa, 1974). Mild to moderate malnutrition, also called chronic under nutrition, is much more common than severe forms, and is often difficult to recognize. The severe forms are either due to insufficient protein and calories (marasmus) or to an acute protein loss or deprivation (kwashiorkor). At present, when increasing investment …show more content…
This critical period theory has been applied to man, and as the neural cells multiply in the fetus during pregnancy, malnutrition of the pregnant woman can be dangerous to the fetus. However, this critical-period theory seems to be too simple and is not easily proved in humans. It is complicated by the fact that different parts of the brain have their growth spurt during different periods, the time of which is difficult to settle. Thus, damage occurring at one particular period will affect one part of the brain more than another will. To make things even more difficult these periods differ between different animals and between animals and man. Generalizations from animal research to man thus cannot be made with certainty. The parameters that have been used to indicate brain growth include the total number of cells (neurons and glia cells), the proportion of cells in different parts of the brain, myelin formation, cell size, axon-dendrite connections, and certain biochemical processes. There may also be other indices that have not yet been considered. Pre and post-natal malnutrition has been shown to affect all these parameters. The pre-natal multiplication of neural cells mentioned above is considered most important because these cells, which form the functioning cells of the nervous system, do not multiply after birth. The glia cells are also pre-natal in multiplication, but they form connective tissue

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