(noun) A lack of proper nutrition due to inadequate digestion and absorption, insufficient food, or a poorly balanced diet.

Example: A deficiency in one or more vitamins is called avitaminosis such as scurvy which is caused by lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and rickets by a lack of vitamin D.

Audio Pronunciation: (mal·nu·tri·tion)

Download Audio Pronunciation: malnutrition.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: malnutritions
  • Malnutrition is defined not as a lack of nutrition, but poor nutrition. For example, kwashiorkor is caused by a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein.
  • The manifested physical effects of malnutrition are called deficiency diseases.

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