Malnutrition and Academic Performance

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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…
From the beginning of the 1960s, knowledge has accumulated about the way that different types of under nutrition, occurring during different phases of development and at varying times, have influenced the development of the central nervous system in animals. It has also been documented for a long time that the cognitive development is delayed in children who have suffered a serious lack of nutrition for a considerable length of time. Attempts have been made to correlate these findings, and - in somewhat simplified terms - it may be said that under nutrition in the fetus and young child causes disturbances in the morphological and functional development of the central nervous system. These in turn affect the cognitive and emotional development of the child. On the other hand, behavior scientists have shown how a non-stimulating society and psychological environment delays and disturbs a child's development. When under nutrition occurs, such an environment is usually found, and to establish the existence of a causal relationship between under nutrition alone and cognitive development is very difficult.
Brain Development If we first look at the effect of malnutrition on the central nervous system, we find that a great deal of research has been done on animals but also that an
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