Improving Lives Through Alleviating Malnutrition

  • Sunil J. Wimalawansa


Nutritional deficiencies at any stages of growth affect physical, mental and behavioural development. This is particularly important for individuals with intellectual disability and their caregivers, who are constantly faced with multiple challenges. Providing a balanced diet that is adequate with macro- and micro-nutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants, is an important aspects of over coming such. The nutritional supplementary guidelines of various scientific societies are generally for healthy people. Thus, they may not necessarily be applicable to those with intellectual or developmenetal disability. Those with disabilities have special needs all-around, including nutrients. Body mass index, the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity, even when matched with age and sex, do not provide the needed information on micronutrient deficiencies. Prior to engaging in expensive and invasive investigation and treatments, it is recommended that persons with intellectual disability are evaluated for potential nutritional deficiencies and rectify these with dietary adjustment and appropriate supplements. However, one-time correction is insufficient, as the fundamental root-cause will continue to maintain nutritional deficiencies. Thus, once identified and rectified, consideration should be given for modifying the root cause(s) and/or long-term replacement therapies. Common sense and holistic approaches are essential in helping adults with intellectual disability to improve their nutrition and quality of lives.


Epidemiology Intellectual disability Socio-economic Nutrients Vitamins Micronutrients Fractures Vitamin D Osteoporosis Obesity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunil J. Wimalawansa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineCardio Metabolic Institute (hon.)North BrunswickUSA

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