Physical Health Problems Of Malnutrition

1971 Words Apr 2nd, 2015 8 Pages
Due to the cramped living conditions, poor hygiene, and shortage of food, sickness and disease circulated below the decks of the slave ships. One of the most significant physical health problems was malnutrition. The quantity and quality of food were both inadequate, as the ship crews did not want to squander resources to purchase proper nutrition. Items, such as fresh meat and fruits, added an additional expense that would cut deep into the captain’s pocket. Food, onboard the slave ships, was substandard. The African slaves’ diet consisted primarily of horse beans, yams, and rice. The slaves evidently did not have much to consume, which ultimately affected their bodies’ ability to repel infections:
They are commonly fed twice a day; about 8:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon…their food is served up to them in tubs about the size of a small water bucket. They are placed around these tubs, in companies of ten to each tub, out of which they feed themselves with wooden spoons…their allowance of water is about a half a pint each at every meal.

In addition, the system of feeing the slaves, who were either healthy or unhealthy, from the same bucket contributed to the spread of infectious diseases. Furthermore, the African slaves suffered from a variety of illnesses. The most common disease was dysentery, which was directly connected to the filthy conditions on the slave ships. Passed through contaminated water and food, this disease was life-threatening, if not…
Open Document