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What is starvation?

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June 09, 2013 8:25AM

Starvation is a very serious form of malnutrition characterized by a deficiency in nutrients, vitamins, and energy. People can experience this as a result of food deprivation or because of diseases which cause disorders of metabolism which interfere with the ability to absorb nutrients. If the underlying cause is not corrected, starvation can lead to death. Historically, this issue has been a significant problem in many human cultures and it continues to be one today in some regions of the world.

People can experience starvation because of war, famine, and other social and political factors which make it difficult to access food. Disorders such as marasmus, in which people do not ingest enough energy sources, or kwashiorkor, in which there is a deficiency in protein, can develop into starvation. These conditions are common when food supplies are disrupted, forcing people to eat a diet which is not very diverse and may also be limited in terms of overall volume as well.