List of Diseases Caused by Poor Nutrition

Unhealthy nutrition is a risk factor for many chronic conditions.
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Healthy living not only makes you feel good, but it can keep you from experiencing many diseases and health conditions. Obtaining adequate nutrition is an essential part of living a healthy life. Poor nutrition can result from failure to eat enough or failure to choose the right kinds of foods. The United States Department of Agriculture MyPlate provides recommendations on amounts to consume from each food group to attain proper nutrition. Failing to choose a balanced diet full of nutritious foods increases your risk of developing many preventable diseases.


Increased Risk of Having Obesity

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Obesity increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and some form of cancers, according to an article from MedLine Plus. There are some diseases that can cause obesity, but the majority of people are either inactive or make poor nutritional choices and consume too many calories, according to an article from the Mayo Clinic.

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Increased Risk of Diabetes

Although there are some uncontrollable factors that may predispose you to developing diabetes, it is a preventable disease with a healthy lifestyle. Obesity, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol are strong risk factors for developing diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, ‌good nutrition is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes‌. The ADA recommends choosing a balanced diet full of whole grain foods and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Before being diagnosed with diabetes, many people find that they have prediabetes. This is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diabetes. Oftentimes, establishing good nutrition and exercise habits can prevent prediabetes from progressing to full blown diabetes.


Reduced Production of Blood Cells

Anemia occurs when you don't have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, sensitivity to cold temperatures, headache and a fast, irregular heartbeat. Anemia has various causes, and some are related to deficiencies in certain nutrients.

The Mayo Clinic indicates that iron deficiency anemia affects ‌1 to 2 percent‌ of American adults. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout the body, and it is found in meat and poultry. Anemia can also be caused by a lack of vitamin B12, which your body needs to make red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is found in fortified grains and animal products.


Development of Osteomalacia or Rickets

Osteomalacia and rickets are caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, calcium or phosphate. Osteomalacia occurs in adults, while rickets occurs in children. Osteomalacia and rickets cause soft, weak bones, pain and muscle weakness.

Sometimes these diseases result from an inability to absorb vitamin D or not getting enough sunlight so that your body can make its own vitamin D. Vitamin D also regulates blood levels of calcium and phosphate. These diseases can also occur from not getting enough vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus in the diet. These vitamins are found in dairy products, fortified foods and vegetables. Replacing the missing nutrients in the diet will relieve most symptoms of these diseases.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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