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Long-Lasting Effects of Undernutrition
Department of Physiology, Federal University of São Paulo, Rua Botucatu, 862, Edifício de Ciências Biomédicas, 2° andar CEP 04023-060 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Alagoas, Rua Hélio Pradines, 225/301 Ponta Verde, CEP 57035-220 Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil
Professional Masters Program in Health and Work Management, Vale of Itajaí University, Rua Uruguai 458, Bloco 25 B, Sala 402, Centro, CEP 88302-202 Itajaí, SC, Brazil
Department of Health Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo, Av. Ana Costa, 95 Vila Matias CEP 11060-001, Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
Nutrition College, Federal University of Pelotas, Campus Universitário, CP 354, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2011; in revised form: 12 May 2011 / Accepted: 19 May 2011 / Published: 26 May 2011
Abstract: Undernutrition is one of the most important public health problems, affecting more than 900 million individuals around the World. It is responsible for the highest mortality rate in children and has long-lasting physiologic effects, including an increased susceptibility to fat accumulation mostly in the central region of the body, lower fat oxidation, lower resting and postprandial energy expenditure, insulin resistance in adulthood, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and a reduced capacity for manual work, among other impairments. Marked changes in the function of the autonomic nervous system have been described in undernourished experimental animals. Some of these effects seem to be epigenetic, passing on to the next generation. Undernutrition in children has been linked to poor mental development and school achievement as well as behavioural abnormalities. However, there is still a debate in the literature regarding whether some of these effects are permanent or reversible. Stunted children who had experienced catch-up growth had verbal vocabulary and quantitative test scores that did not differ from children who were not stunted. Children treated before 6 years of age in day-hospitals and who recovered in weight and height have normal body compositions, bone mineral densities and insulin production and sensitivity.
Keywords: undernutrition; hypertension; body composition; dyslipidaemia; insulin; energy expenditure
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Martins, V.J.B.; Toledo Florêncio, T.M.M.; Grillo, L.P.; Do Carmo P. Franco, M.; Martins, P.A.; Clemente, A.P.G.; Santos, C.D.L.; Vieira, M.F.A.; Sawaya, A.L. Long-Lasting Effects of Undernutrition. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 1817-1846.
Martins VJB, Toledo Florêncio TMM, Grillo LP, Do Carmo P. Franco M, Martins PA, Clemente APG, Santos CDL, Vieira MFA, Sawaya AL. Long-Lasting Effects of Undernutrition. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011; 8(6):1817-1846.
Martins, Vinicius J. B.; Toledo Florêncio, Telma M. M.; Grillo, Luciane P.; Do Carmo P. Franco, Maria; Martins, Paula A.; Clemente, Ana Paula G.; Santos, Carla D. L.; Vieira, Maria de Fatima A.; Sawaya, Ana Lydia. 2011. "Long-Lasting Effects of Undernutrition." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 8, no. 6: 1817-1846.