Social Impacts and Effects
What we think?
The effect of malnutrition on all tiers of society is so great. Our parents which have all been touched by malnutrition in their younger years often tell us stories. Joseph's mother recalls how her classmates suffered and how families split because there wasn't enough food to feed every child.
Deterioration of social life
A persons social life may deteriorate because of malnutrition. There is a lack of energy to go out and play. Malnutrition may cause physical changes that may cause social status to be reduced. It may also cause a person to refrain from going out in order to avoid embarrassment. As social interaction reduces it can further amplify malnutrition. A person may decide to eat more to compensate for lack of social interaction. They may also become depressed a serious medical disorder that can lead to further health problems.
Effect on families
In both the developed and developing world there is a huge burden that families bear when they are touched by malnutrition. There is a huge burden on the families of the malnourished. Often duties and responsiblities are taken on by others to fill in the gap that has been caused by malnutrition. In both the developing and developed world the father is the one who usually brings in the most money in a household. If he becomes malnourished he may be unable to work, leaving the other families to compensate. This puts a great deal of pressure on the other family members. In some extreme cases, children are sold of by their parents as slaves so that the rest of the family can survive. In the developed world additional errands such as taking the malnourished to the hospital for checkups may cause familial relations to become strained. This may cause a family to break up.
Effect on communities
Communities are groups of people who live in a reigion sharing similar conditions. When malnutrition strikes it is likely to effect many members of the wider community. Communities wiill suffer because interaction between people fall. The lack of energy prevents people from communicating to each other and helping the community. People no longer feel motivated to talk to neighbours, friends and other people. As a whole, malnutrition can make a community crumble. If the community is a village, the food production of that village may fall from lack of labor inflicting more damage upon those in the community.
Effect on countries
When families and communities start suffering on a large scale this can have serious implcations on the country. Of most concern is the economic impacts on the country. This can reduce the countries ability to properly address malnutrition problems that face their citizens. In developed countries, strong economies allow governments to tackle malnutrition in ways that developing countries can only dream of.
Malnutrition reduces productivity, drains money from the economy and reduces the GDP. Overall however, it really creates a cyclical drain on the welfare of the state that will be have to be rectified by future generations despite its subsequent amplification.
Stanfield J.P. (1993) Some aspects of the long-term effects of malnutrition on the behaviour of children in the third world Proceedings of the nutritional society pp. 201-210
UNICEF (2007) National Securty and Emergencies http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_emergencies.html
Esterangel-ga, (2003) Malnutrition and its effects on the society http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=286986
Malnutrition and Seniors. (2007, May 28). Senior Health. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/senior-health/HA00066