Journal article Open Access

Overview on main nutrition-related diseases in three countries from North Africa

DIAF Mustapha; KHALED Meghit Boumediene

The aim of this review article is to give a holistic overview on the magnitude of nutrition-related diseases in the North African region and to outline major factors associated with the prevalence of these complications. A literature analysis was performed on PubMed and Google Scholar for data relating to nutrition-related diseases published between January 2007 and March 2017. The employed keywords were; “Algeria AND Morocco AND Tunisia AND Nutrition-Related diseases”. We focused firstly on the nutrition-related diseases associated to inadequate intake of nutrients and unhealthy dietary habits such as low birth weight, anemia and micronutrient deficiencies, thereafter, diseases associated with changes in lifestyle such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are highlighted.

Factors, contributing to nutritional issues, vary from one country to another. Low socioeconomic status, low educational levels, unhealthy eating habits, poverty, and ignorance are mainly responsible for both under and over nutrition problems. Despite their alarming rates, national strategies to combat these nutritional diseases do not exist or are ineffective in North African countries. Efforts are focused on therapeutic actions, however, the scarcity or the complete lack of preventive health care services, epidemiological surveys, nutritional surveillance and lack of nutritional assessment need to be considered. Continuous and accurate analyses of the evolving situation will allow setting up good tools, strategies and health intervention programs in North African countries.

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