In the industrialized countries, poor nutrition may come as the result of economics and the unfair distribution of wealth, or simply a lack of good dietary habits. According to Palmer (2009), no country is immune from malnutrition, and "the plain truth is that many – perhaps most – Americans dont eat enough nutritious foods to meet nutrient needs" (p.4). In general, poor nutrition affects children the most as their growing bodies are unable to form properly if not fed a proper diet. Poor nutrition affects their brains, ability to learn, and alters their behavior. For others, poor nutrition results in obesity, as they consume diets that are rich in fat, carbohydrates, and empty calories while being low in the essential vitamins and minerals the body requires. No matter what the reason, there is a worldwide crisis concerning poor nutrition that has resulted in pockets of famine coexisting with nations plagued by obesity and malnutrition.
Nutrition is integrally linked to good health. Poor health may make it difficult to physically compete for a healthy diet, or the body may be unable to utilize the nutrition that it is provided with. Poor nutrition will naturally lead to poor health and this can begin a cycle of hunger and poverty as the body spirals downward. The global problem has reached crisis proportions and "this year some 900 million people–including 178 million children under 5–are suffering from malnutrition, estimates the United Nations. every day 50,000 starve to death" (Begley, 2008). The problem affects all countries on the planet and is not isolated to third world countries and developing nations. In the US, poor diet is one of the leading causes of death and is responsible for as many as half a million deaths annually (Bendich and Deckelbaum, 2005, p.5). .