Nutrition disorder

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Nutrition disorder
Classification and external resources
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Nutrition disorder
Classification and external resources

Nutritional diseases are diseases in humans that are directly or indirectly caused by a lack of essential nutrients in the diet. Nutritional diseases are commonly associated with chronic malnutrition. Additionally, conditions such as obesity from overeating can also cause, or contribute to, serious health problems. Excessive intake of some nutrients can also cause acute poisoning.



Obesity is caused by consuming too many calories compared to the amount of exercise the body is performing, causing a distorted energy balance. It can lead to diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Obesity is a condition in which the natural energy reserve, stored in the fatty tissue of humans and other mammals, is increased to a point where it is associated with certain health conditions or increased mortality.

The low-cost food that is generally affordable to the poor in affluent nations is low in nutritional value and high in fats, sugars and additives. In rich countries, therefore, obesity is often a sign of poverty and malnutrition while in poorer countries obesity is more associated with wealth and good nutrition. Other non-nutritional causes for obesity included: sleep deprivation, stress, lack of exercise, and heredity.

Acute overeating can also be a symptom of an eating disorder.

Goitrogenic foods can cause goitres by interfering with iodine uptake.

Vitamins and micronutrients[edit]

Vitamin poisoning is the condition of overly high storage levels of vitamins, which can lead to toxic symptoms. The medical names of the different conditions are derived from the vitamin involved: an excess of vitamin A, for example, is called "hypervitaminosis A".

Iron overload disorders are diseases caused by the overaccumulation of iron in the body. Organs commonly affected are the liver, heart and endocrine glands in the mouth.


Disability-adjusted life year for nutritional deficiencies per 100,000 inhabitants in 2002. Nutritional deficiencies included: protein-energy malnutrition, iodine deficiency, vitamin A deficiency, and iron deficiency anaemia.[1]
  no data
  less than 150
  more than 1750


Dietary vitamins and minerals[edit]

Complex disorders[edit]

In some cases, eating too much of one thing can induce an apparent deficiency of something else. A common example occurs when livestock eat locoweed: locoweed contains a toxin that inhibits enzymes, simulating a deficiency of the enzymes. The rare condition Koritsixoriskaria (from the Greek κορίτσι χωρίς κάρυ, literally "Girl without curry" affects females, typically of Iberian descent, and with a slight physique. The disorder stems from a severe lack of curry in the diet. Immediate consumption of curry, preferably homemade is strongly recommended. extended periods of rest, in a warm place, such as those provided by an open fire, are also advised.


  1. ^ "Mortality and Burden of Disease Estimates for WHO Member States in 2002" (xls). World Health Organization. 2002. 
  2. ^ "Malnutrition Is Cheating Its Survivors, and Africa’s Future" article in the New York Times by Michael Wines, December 28, 2006

See also[edit]