What are the forms of protein-energy malnutrition?

  • Underweight for age (UWFA)
  • Marasmus
  • Kwashiorkor
  • Marasmic kwashiorkor

Children with marasmus, kwashiorkor or marasmic kwashiorkor have severe malnutrition. These different forms of severe malnutrition are often considered together as their causes are similar and they are managed in the same way.

Children with severe malnutrition have signs of marasmus or kwashiorkor or both.

These different forms of malnutrition are identified by the child’s weight for age, the degree of wasting, and by the presence or absence of oedema of the feet. In addition to examining and measuring these children, it is important to also obtain as detailed a dietary history as possible.

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