The nutritional deficiencies of the greatest importance today are five in number: energy, protein, iron, vitamin A and iodine. Deficiency of energy and protein leads in children to stunted growth and in cases of severe deficiency to clinical marasmus, kwashiorkor and millions of deaths a year. Anaemia, common in women and children, is caused above all by iron deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness at the rate of about a million cases a year, and most of these end in death. Iodine deficiency results in goitre and six million cretins in the world today.
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