The term kwashiorkor, meaning "the disease of the displaced child" in the language of Ga, was first defined in the 1930s in Ghana. Kwashiorkor is one of the more severe forms of protein malnutrition and is caused by inadequate protein intake.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, the primary sugar in milk. This inability results from a shortage of the enzyme lactase, which is normally produced by the cells that line the small intestine.

Lay Health Advisor

One model utilized to counter public health budget cuts is the use of lay health advisors (LHAs). Potential LHAs are individuals in the community who have a reputation as a "natural helper" and are trusted by their friends, family, and neighbors.

Lead Poisoning

Lead is an indestructible heavy metal that can accumulate and linger in the body. Although the problem of lead exposure has been reduced in the United States, minorities and disadvantaged individuals remain chronically exposed.


Legumes are the edible seeds of plants. They provide a good source of protein, thiamine, folic acid, vitamin E, and fiber.

Life Expectancy

The term life expectancy is used to describe the average life span of an individual. Life expectancy can vary considerably in different areas of the world.

Lipid Profile

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in the world and is mainly due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Abnormal blood lipids are risk factors for CVD.

Low Birth Weight Infant

An infant born with a weight of less than five pounds (2,500 grams) at birth is classified as a low birth weight infant. Babies with low birth weight were either born prematurely or are small for their age because their growth was restricted in the womb.

Macrobiotic Diet

George Ohsawa (1893–1966) coined the term macrobiotic to describe a philosophy towards life, health, and healing. Macrobiotic means "way of long life." Macrobiotics is best described as a way of living according to the principles of yin and yang.


The nutritional requirements of the human body reflect the nutritional intake necessary to maintain optimal body function and to meet the body's daily energy needs. Malnutrition (literally, "bad nutrition") is defined as "inadequate nutrition," and while most people interpret this as undernutrition, falling short of daily nutritional requirements, it can also mean overnutrition, meaning intake in excess of what the body uses.


Marasmus is one component of protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), the other being kwashiorkor. It is a severe form of malnutrition caused by inadequate intake of protein and calories, and it usually occurs in the first year of life, resulting in wasting and growth retardation.

Marketing Strategies

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as "the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives." Marketers use an assortment of strategies to guide how, when, and where product information is presented to consumers. Their goal is to persuade consumers to buy a particular brand or product.


Mastitis is a common infection among breastfeeding women. The infection causes the breast to become tender, red, and hot.

Maternal Mortality Rate

The maternal mortality rate reflects the number of maternal deaths in a population due to both direct obstetric causes and to conditions aggravated by pregnancy or childbirth. The maternal mortality rate in the United States is approximately 7.7 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies.

Meals on Wheels

Meals On Wheels is a federal food assistance program aimed at improving the diets and nutritional status of homebound older adults. It is funded under Title III-C of the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965.

Meat Analogs

A meat analog is a manufactured food product that looks and tastes like meat. Vegetarians and other health-conscious individuals eat meat analogs because they are relatively high in protein.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is the development and provision of a nutritional treatment or therapy based on a detailed assessment of a person's medical history, psychosocial history, physical examination, and dietary history. It is used to treat an illness or condition, or as a means to prevent or delay disease or complications from diseases such as diabetes.


Young girls start menstruating between the ages of eleven and thirteen, when their reproductive systems reach maturity. Women have regular menstrual cycles every twenty-eight days until about the age of fifty, at which time menstruation becomes irregular.

Men's Nutritional Issues

While many diseases and health care issues affect both men and women, certain diseases and conditions exhibited in men may require distinct approaches regarding diagnosis and management. Some of the major issues associated with men's health are related to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, impotence, and prostate health.