10 Differences between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus (Kwashiorkor vs Marasmus)

When balanced diet is not consumed by a person for a sufficient length of time, it leads to nutritional deficiencies or disorders. The nutritional status is called malnutrition. Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM). PEM is classified as Kwashiorkor and Marasmus. Kwashiorkor or edematous PEM and Marasmus (Greek; “waste”) is nonedematous PEM.

Difference Between Marasmus And Kwashiorkor In Table Form
Kwashiorkor is an African word that means weaning disease. It is a protein energy malnutrition (PEM). It occurs due to deficiency of proteins in the diet of children, through the diet may contain adequate amount of carbohydrates. It is most common among children between 1 to 3 years of age. The symptoms of Kwashiorkor are oedema, stunted growth, mental retardation, wrinkled skin, thin legs, bulged eyes, protruded belly etc.
Marasmus: It is a form of prolonged malnutrition. It affects infants under one year of age. It occurs due to deficiency of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the diet. The symptoms of Marasmus are physical weakness, flabby body, elevated ribs, depressed eyes, dry skin etc. 
                                                  Kwashiorkor vs Marasmus
Characteristics of Kwashiorkor
1. It develops in children whose diets are deficient of protein.
2. It occurs in children between 6 months and 3 years of age.
3. Subcutaneous fat is preserved.
4. Oedema is present.
5. Enlarged fatty liver.
6. Ribs are not very prominent.
7. Lethargic
8. Muscle wasting mild or absent.
9. Poor appetite.
10. The person suffering from Kwashiorkor needs adequate amounts of proteins.

Characteristics of Marasmus
1. It is due to deficiency of proteins and calories.
2. It is common in infants under 1 year of age.
3. Subcutaneous fat is not preserved.
4. Oedema is absent
5. No fatty liver.
6. Ribs become very prominent.
7. Alert and irritable.
8. Severe muscle wasting
9. Voracious feeder.
10. The person suffering from Marasmus needs adequate amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
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