Practice of Medicine: Nutritional Disorders
According to the WHO, “Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Better nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity. Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health. Today the world faces a double burden of malnutrition that includes both under-nutrition and overweight, especially in low- and middle-income countries”. These statements by the WHO emphasize not only the importance of nutrition for humankind but also the significance of undernutrition, over nutrition and malnutrition. All these nutritional disorders have been thoroughly covered in this chapter of Practice of Medicine called Nutritional Disorders.
The subject of Nutritional Disorders has been dealt with in depth bringing into light key aspects of the vast science of nutrition. The chapter begins with a recap of the physiology of nutrition and that is followed by a module on energy imbalance which highlights the qualitative and quantitative assessment of different nutrients along with the disorders which result from a qualitative or quantitative disturbance in those nutrients. Following this module, are separate modules on micronutrients, vitamins to be specific and minerals with their disorders and deficiencies. The last module deals with the clinical aspect of nutrition emphasizing upon the clinical examination, assessment and investigation of a case of nutritional disorder. A bonus module on Biomolecules starts this chapter and aims to acquaint the learners with the basic biochemistry of nutrients.
Importance: As per the WHO, 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, while 462 million are underweight. 47 million children under 5 years of age are wasted, 14.3 million are severely wasted and 144 million are stunted, while 38.3 million are overweight or obese. Around 45% of deaths among children under 5 years of age are linked to undernutrition. It is thus important for budding physicians to grasp the concepts of nutrition and nutritional disorders so that they are able to deal with them efficiently. Undergraduates must be well acquainted with the concepts of the science of nutrition as nutrition forms the basis of human life. Beneficiaries: UG/PG Students Course Benefit: The course deals with all aspects of the science of Nutrition which a learner requires to grasp. These concepts include- biomolecules, physiology of nutrition, disorders of energy balance, deficiencies and toxicities of macronutrients and micronutrients along with their management. The learner gets to learn the clinical aspect of Nutritional Disorderssuch as clinical examination, assessment and investigations which enable him to deal with nutritional disorders in his practice.