Conceptual Framework of Malnutrition
According to this framework, developed by UNICEF, malnutrition occurs when dietary intake is inadequate and health is unsatisfactory, being the two immediate causes of malnutrition. In developing countries, infectious diseases, such as diarrhoeal diseases (DD) and acute respiratory diseases (ARI), are responsible for most nutrition-related health problems.
Readily available food, appropriate health systems and a "healthy" environment are ineffective unless these resources are used effectively. As a result, the absence of proper care in households and communities is the third necessary element of the underlying causes of malnutrition.
Finally, this conceptual framework recognises that human and environmental resources, economic systems and political and ideological factors are basic causes that contribute to malnutrition.
This model relates the causal factors for under-nutrition with different social-organisational levels. The immediate causes affect individuals, the underlying causes relate to families, and the basic causes are related to the community and the nation. As a result, the more indirect are the causes, the wider the population whose nutritional status is affected.
The Food Security and the Malnutrition conceptual frameworks, which are the most commonly used frameworks used in this field, show significant differences. The food security framework emphasises an economic approach in which food as a commodity is a central focus. The malnutrition framework adopts a biological approach in which the human being is the starting point. However, both frameworks have in common the promotion of an inter-disciplinary approach to ensuring food and nutrition security.