food Sep 5, 2021
Photo by Yannis H / Unsplash

For a healthy lifestyle, a healthy and nutritious diet is important. It can help reduce the risk of diseases and improve overall health. It also strengthens the bones and muscles and improves memory.

Our body needs proteins, vitamins, fats, and many other nutrients for the proper functioning of the body. Among all these nutrients, proteins are the main source of energy.
Inadequate intake of protein and energy leads to malnutrition which is referred to as Marasmus. It is a severe form of malnutrition that can occur in anyone, but usually occurs in children.
A child with marasmus may not grow as a normal child usually does.
If the intake of nutrients and energy is too low, it leads to wasting, or the loss of body fat and muscle.
Areas that have famines or high rates of poverty and developing countries have higher percentages of children with marasmus.


The main symptom of marasmus is being underweight, the loss of a lot of muscle mass and layer of fat present just under the skin which leads to dry skin and brittle hair.
Weight loss, stunted growth, intellectual disability, stomach shrinkage, dehydration, chronic diarrhea and respiratory infections are other symptoms of marasmus.

Few remedies for persons with marasmus

The primary remedy for the patient suffering from marasmus is to provide a well-balanced diet.  They need more calories than usual for their age.
But it is critical for a person with marasmus to receive a diet treatment that is rich in nutrients, carbohydrates, and calories. Because, their body may find it hard to tolerate or digest food after losing so much fat and body tissue.

So, as initial treatment, they should be given dried skim milk powder mixed with boiled water.
Later, the mixture can also include a vegetable oil such as sesame, milk protein casein, and sugar.  The oil increases the energy content and density of the mixture.
Once the child starts to recover, a more balanced diet that meets nutritional needs can be given.
Any protein and calorie-rich food, such as skimmed milk, fish, eggs, and nuts are ideal for energy and growth, and to prevent marasmus.
To prevent vitamin deficiencies, and to provide other nutrients and minerals, vegetables and fruits should be given
If the child is suffering from dehydration due to diarrhea, rehydration should also be a priority. Rehydration may not necessarily require intravenous delivery of fluids and oral hydration may be sufficient.
Multivitamin supplements are to be given to improve appetite and nutrition deficiency.
To treat children with pathogenic infections, few antibiotics or other medications are given
Drinking boiled water, eating washed and cooked food, maintaining good sanitation and hygiene and having a healthy and well-balanced diet are few remedies to prevent marasmus.
Appropriate support and nutrition during pregnancy are needed to prevent malnutrition.
If the marasmus is severe or complicated by a life-threatening condition, it requires treatment in the hospital.

Even though the treatment plan is right and sufficient, it may take months for full recovery from marasmus.


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.