Is malnutrition always due to a poor diet?

No. Some children who fail to thrive are receiving a good diet. They usually have a severe, chronic illness, such as tuberculosis, AIDS, malignancy, bowel or liver disease, or cerebral palsy. AIDS is a common cause of failure to thrive in Africa.

Some stunted children are not malnourished but have a medical condition or had a very low birth weight. Chronic emotional stress can also cause stunting.

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