Youth with Eating disorders and malnutrition in France

Eating disorders affect some 600,000 young people in France (40,000 of whom suffer from anorexia) and are the second cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 years, after traffic accidents. Anorexia is a disease that, according to recently published research, increases in developed countries. France goes a step further in the fight against anorexia. From last year, the models must provide a medical certificate that proves they are not too thin or that their thinness does not seem unhealthy. And if the doctor certifies that they are not healthy women (or men) or that their weight and height data do not keep the proportion of the body mass index, they will not be able to climb the French catwalks. Employers – fashion magazines or agencies – who do not respect the law may be sentenced with more than six months in prison (those responsible) and fines of 75,000 euros.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a person exceedingly thin when his BMI – the relationship between weight and height – is less than 18.5. And it distinguishes between light thinness (between 17.8 and 18.5), moderate (between 16 and 17) and severe (below 16). Eating disorders affect some 600,000 young people in France (40,000 of whom suffer from anorexia) and are the second cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 years, after traffic accidents.


Many people believe that malnutrition is a problem that only affects the poorest countries in the world, and that you do not have to worry about it, but in fact, this problem is much closer than you think. For example, in France, 63% of newborns suffer from an iron deficiency, another 55% are born with anemia. Across Europe, the World Health Organization estimates that 33 million people are at risk of malnutrition. France fights against malnutrition and develop many strategies in order to improve this situation that affects French population. These action strategies are: integration of nutrition programs, increase nutrition mobilization, education, among others. This figure tells all of us that, as part of the world’s population, we must take more seriously the nutrition problem we are facing. And this is not just about eliminating “bad” food from our diet, but also making sure we get the right amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that our body needs every day.

How to Recognize Malnutrition?

The most likely thing is that you know someone who is suffering from this condition, more specifically that they have a nutrient deficiency. It may be that friend of yours, skinny who does not eat much, but could also be, the one who appears to be healthy and never imagined it. The truth is that malnutrition comes in all shapes and sizes. Malnutrition is when the body does not have the essential nutrients for its proper functioning. Some vital nutrients include: iron, iodine, vitamin A and zinc among others.  So, how can you recognize malnutrition in your loved ones, including yourself? Here I show you some warning signs: Rapid and sudden weight loss, Fatigue, Recurrent infection, Difficulty to heal, Difficult to focus, Feeling cold constantly, Little growth (in children), Change in hair and skin color, Bad mood, Palpitations and muscle cramps (usually potassium or calcium deficiency), Weakness and hair loss (iron deficiency) and Depression (vitamin D deficiency). If you think that you or a loved one is deficient in nutrients, your family doctor can order a series of blood tests to check and make sure. It can tell you what minerals and vitamins your body needs, as well as any other problem that you may present as an infection.

How to Get the Right Nutrition?

Once you identify the deficiency, you must get down to work. Specifically, you have to start eating more healthy and nutritious foods, and provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. Fortunately, this is much simpler than you think. Here I share with you a list of foods to combat certain deficiencies. Include them in your diet to eliminate malnutrition: Calcium – milk, yogurt and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kalePotassium – bananas, beans, peas, whole grains and milkIron – meat, beans, lentils, spinach, oystersB12 – fish, chicken, yogurtMagnesium – almonds, peanuts, soybeans, spinach. Vitamin D – milk, yogurt, salmon, tuna

You can get vitamin D from our wonderful sun, so be sure to spend some time outdoors every day, even just a moment. Walk with your pet, walk a little after lunch at work or park your car a little farther from the entrance. The most important thing is to get the balance of your body. You cannot eat those frozen “healthy” foods, you have to make an effort to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, good carbohydrates, protein and water into your diet every day. This will give your body the energy it really needs. In other words, do not think that food is “good” or “bad”, just start asking yourself how would my body improve with this food? Will it make me stronger and healthier? If the answer is no, then do not eat it. When you give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs, it will reward you in the long term.

Pay attention

Check in detail your meals and the signals your body gives you. How you feel? Do you think you could feel better? More awake, with more energy? If so, you probably suffer some nutrient deficiency. Luckily, you are not alone. Many people in France are going through this same situation and you just need to make some changes to make your lifestyle healthier and end this condition once and for all. Talk to your doctor and ask for a checkup to determine the type of deficiency and start improving your diet today. Remember that the best nutrients come from fresh, natural food, but if you decide to take supplements, talk to your doctor. Some supplements may interfere with some medicines and other conditions.