Can You Be Overweight And Malnourished?

It seems pretty unbelievable really but, can you be overweight and malnourished? That is a very contradictory situation. On one hand we see being overweight as having too much nutrition on a consistent basis with not enough exercise. On the other we usually think of malnourishment as someone who is extremely skinny who hasn’t eaten in days. The fact is that you can be overweight and malnourished very easily. It has everything to do with diet.

To understand this contradictory situation you must understand what the types of nutrients are, and how they should be consumed. Then you can see how the lack of certain nutritions can create such a precarious situation.


A macronutrient is is a carbohydrate, protein, or fat. They are the main providers of calories in the diet.


This type of nutrient provides the body with energy to function and grow. Basically, if you intake lots of macronutrients with no other micro or phytonutrients it is very possible to become overweight. The nutrient deficiency comes into play when too much of this is consumed, and not enough foods rich in vitamins and minerals.


These nutrients are vitamins and minerals found in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Unlike macronutrients, you only need them in trace amounts. Hence the prefix, “micro”. Without these nutrients the body can grow and move, but its functionality will suffer tremendously. It can even cause severe sickness and death.


These nutrients are often just an afterthought when we make our food selections. When creating a healthy diet they really should be the number one priority. Micronutrients play a much bigger role in weight loss than you would ever think possible. Another nutrient that is similar to micronutrients are phytonutrients.


These nutrients, like micronutrients are only consumed in very small amounts. They are found in bright fruits and vegetables. This is basically what provides those foods with its bright colors. Phytonutrients are not really a necessity because you won’t die from a deficiency.


The importance behind these nutrients is that it can have a huge effect on whether you keep that fat packed on, or lose it. Let’s take a look at some benefits of these trace minerals and how they effect weight loss.

  • Muscle Maintenance: The trace nutrients maintain muscle mass, strength, and function. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be even at rest. That means more calories are burning while you’re just sitting there.
  • Decrease Inflammation: Some experts are now saying that obesity is a chronic level of inflammation. The problem is that with inflammation it’s harder to lose fat and build muscle. It’s like a cycle from some dietician’s nightmare. With more fat mass comes increased inflammation, so it gets harder and harder to lose. Phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory and provide you with an easier time to lose weight.
  • Don’t Eat As Much: Your body obviously needs a certain amount of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Some experts are starting to think that if you eat lots of calorie dense foods that are low in these nutrients, your body will tell you to keep eating until you get what you need. In other words, if you don’t eat foods with enough good nutritional value, your body will have a harder time sensing when it has had enough.
  • The bottom line is that it is very possible to be overweight and still be malnourished. It simply comes down to the ratio of macronutrients to micro and phytonutrients that you consume. If you only focus on how many calories you are consuming, chances are you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals. Not getting enough of those nutrients can cause you to be malnourished, no matter what you look like.

    A nutritious diet is the number one priority to lose weight. Your plate should always be filled with lots of fruits and veggies. Some basic diet hints can be found in the article, All You Need To Know About The Practical Diet. If you don’t think you are getting enough vitamins through your diet then a supplement may be a good option. If you have trouble eating vitamins or fruits you should definitely check out, 7 Reasons Why Juicing Can Change Your Life. Juicing can make it much easier to get those food groups into your diet.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.