What is protein-energy malnutrition?

Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) consists of a range of clinical conditions caused by a lack of both protein and energy in the diet (i.e. general undernutrition). PEM ranges from mild to severe and the clinical presentation depends on the degree of deficiency and precipitating factors such as infection. Most children with PEM have both weight and height below the normal range, i.e. they are stunted.

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