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The rise of Type B malnutrition

To tie in with Nutrition & Hydration Week 11-17 March 2024,  this blog looks back to 2006 when the United Nations acknowledged a new kind of malnutrition, which is a result lower quality of food rather than the availability of food, which affects the population of developed Western countries. 

Edited excerpt from Breakspear Medical Bulletin Issue 16:

The types of malnutrition

In 2006, the United Nations acknowledged a new kind of malnutrition.  Type A malnutrition is classically associated with developing countries, where there is inadequate consumption of calories and nutrients.

The new malnutrition is Type B, which is more common in the west where food availability is not the problem.  Type B malnutrition is a result of multiple micronutrient depletion due to the quality of the food rather than the availability of food.  The overweight can be just as malnourished as the starving. Type B malnutrition is associated with obesity and results from consuming ultra-processed foods that lack essential nutrients while being calorie-dense and can this type of malnutrition can worsen with age.

What can be done?

As reported in CAM magazine, chiropractor and nutritionist David Thomas says that just educating people to eat better is not going to solve malnutrition.

Thomas compared official food composition tables over the last 60 years and his findings indicate huge depletions in the mineral content of various foods.  For example, according to Thomas’s report, from 1940 to 1991, the calcium content of boiled broccoli fell from 160mg (per 100g sample) to 40mg, which is a drop of 75%, and the iron content of boiled spinach from 4mg to 1.6mg, which is 60% less.

Telling people that they need to eat food grown in healthy soils that is less processed and less contaminated by pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, fungicides, antibiotics and hormones etc, and to drink plenty of filtered water is just the start.

Evidence demonstrates that if people suffering from Type B malnutrition change their lifestyle by taking steps such as increasing their level of exercise and taking supplements, they can stabilise and even reverse the effects.

A nutritional therapist can help you

Every individual has specific dietary and nutrition needs that can vary due to lifestyle, environmental circumstances, and more. A nutritional therapist delves into the uniqueness of each person’s biochemical individuality in order to craft a tailored program for optimal health. Functional tests may also be part of this process, such as stool analysis, helping pinpoint imbalances with gut flora and other digestive issues.

Amending one’s diet to increase nutrients, such as essential fatty acids, xanthophylls, various fibre types and flavonoids, can boost energy levels, optimise digestion and gut health, and enhance immunity.

Read more about the benefits of Nutritional Therapy.

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