"MALNUTRITION"...The Latest Trend???

Dr Alex

15th Mar, 2016



Did You Know

  • Over 50% of teenage girls and 30% of teenage boys indulge in unhealthy weight control behavior.
  • The average BMI of Beauty pageant winners has reduced from 22kg/m2 in 1920 to 16kg/m2 in 2000's.
  • Daily recommended protein intake is 0.8g/ kg body weight or 56g of protein for an average man/woman.

Protein content in common meals:

  • A glass of milk: 7.2g.
  • An Egg: 7.5g.
  • Medium sized piece of beef: 14g.

I consider the single most constant factor among youths to be "changing trends". There is always a new trend ranging from trending clothes, to styles, glasses, hair cuts and physiques, make up and even skin color trends. While this is thought to be more common among the female population, its a growing obsession among the males.

One of the most common and reoccurring trends which has health implications at both extremes is the "weight watching/ calorie counting" trend. Made worse by the exaggeration of social media and internet craze.

40-60% of elementary school girls are concerned about their weight and mostly this persists throughout life. Over 50% of teenage girls and 30% of teenage boys indulge in unhealthy weight control behaviors which include;

*skipping meals, Fasting, Smoking cigarettes, Self-induced vomiting, Use of laxatives, Diet pills, Crash diets and Intense workout regimes (insanity!!!). There’s a thin line between slim and malnourished!

The WHO defines healthy BMI (body mass index) as between 18.5kg/m2 - 24.9kg/m2. This is calculated using weight and height (see BMI calculator on home page). However falling within the ideal BMI doesn't exclude a nutrient deficiency!

Click here to check your BMI

While an average adolescent knows their daily caloric intake, they are unlikely to know their "daily recommended allowance" for essential nutrients. The result of this are varying nutritional deficiencies as well as increased incidence of most chronic diseases being attributed to poor nutrition.

Paying particular attention to proteins, an essential nutrient often deficient in our part of the world. It's important to note that while a lot of middle and even upper class folks may not be severely protein deficient enough to reflect as very obvious signs such as feet swelling, a high percentage are mildly protein deficient!!!


Effects of Protein Deficiency

Protein deficiency can result in:

  • Frequent infections,
  • Poor wound healing,
  • Irregular menstrual cycles,
  • Sexual reproductive problems/infertility,
  • Hair breakage/loss.

Hidden signs:

  • Insomnia.
  • Constant craving.
  • Muscle or Joint pain.
  • Low energy/mood swings.



An average diet should contain 50% vegetables, 25% protein and 25% starch!!!

Can't meet up with this??? Here are tips to live by;

  • Add a glass of milk to your meal.
  • Don't be afraid of eggs!! (special attention to egg white).
  • Stock up a little bit on the white meat.
  • Fish! Fish!! Fish!!!
  • Don't be afraid to munch on nuts!


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