004 - Malnutrition

Factual Question

What is malnutrition?

Debatable Question

Agriculture has been called 'the worst mistake in the history of the human race' (Diamond, 1987)

Key Terminology

            • Malnutrition
            • Calorie Intake
            • Indicator

Define the key terms above using the 'Useful Links' below.


Useful Links

Activity One - Draw and Discuss

We all have an idea of what someone who is malnourished looks like and why they may be that way. The adverts on TV are awash with campaigns to support different feeding programmes. What is your perception of this stereotype?


      1. On A4 paper or a small white board draw a picture of someone who is malnourished.
      2. When complete show the boards/paper to your neighbours and discuss the similarities and differences between them. Write the similarities and differences down in your book.

Activity Two - Interpretation

We are now going to compare and contrast the different diets of people around the world by interrogating various images.


      1. Describe the average food intake for a family in a MEDC, NIC and LEDC over a month using the images below. All images were taken from http://www.zo.utexas.edu/ and for more click on the link - Images
      2. Explain why the differences may have occurred in the images you have chosen to describe.
      3. Is malnutrition or undernourishment a ´poor´ issue? Use the graph below as a prompt.

Image One

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide. Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

Image Two

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina. Food expenditure for one week: $341.98

Image Three

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca.

Food expenditure for one week: 1, 862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Image Four

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo. Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Image Five

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village. Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Image Six

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp. Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Activity Three - Skill

As you are now well aware good geographers need to be able to describe maps well. The one below clearly uses colour to help distinguish a pattern of what is happening. Answer the following questions but remember to answer in full sentences.


    1. Describe the map below.
    2. Can calorie intake be an indicator of wealth? Why?
Restless Beings - Child Malnutrition

Image Seven - % of Population who are undernourished

Activity Four - Watch

As we now know malnourishment may not be just because people do not have access to food it can be due to the poor choices that we make when at the supermarket.


      • How can lifestyle choices impact the food you eat? Watch the YouTube clip below before you make any decisions.
      • We will discuss your ideas as a group.

Activity Five - Comprehension and Design

We are now going to raise the awareness of malnourishment within a country of your choice. You can choose any country in the world but you may want to use the 'Food and Agricultural Organisation' information to help you to do this. The key to the poster is to use key data and to share a simple message about the issue.


      1. Read the article by the WHO and discuss the problems that can be caused by malnutrition? The focus is on society and not just health.
      2. Design a poster to raise the awareness of malnourishment within one country.


Requirements for the poster

      • Keep it simple
      • Use specific facts to illustrate your points
      • A4 in size

Useful Resources

WHO - malnutrition

The Food and Agriculture Organisation website will be able to help with country specific data- www.fao.org

How will my work be assessed?

Criterion C: Communicating