:"Wasting could also mean unefficient and/or uneffective consumption. See waste."

In medical circles, wasting refers to the process by which a debilitating disease causes muscle and fat tissue to "waste" away. Wasting is sometimes referred to as "acute malnutrition" because it is believed that episodes of wasting have a short duration, in contrast to stunting, which is regarded as chronic malnutrition.


Wasting can be caused by an extremely low energy intake (e.g., caused by famine), nutrient losses due to infection, or a combination of low intake and high loss. Infections associated with wasting include tuberculosis, chronic diarrhea, and AIDS. The mechanism may involve cachectin - also called tumor necrosis factor, a macrophage-secreted cytokine. Caretakers and health providers can sometimes contribute to wasting if the patient is placed on an improper diet.Voluntary weight loss and eating disorders are excluded as causes of wasting.


*Children: Weight-for-height (WFH). In infants under 24 months, recumbent (supine) length is used. WFH as % of median reference value is calculated this way:

:mathrm{WFH} = frac{mbox{weight of a given child{mbox{median weight for a given child of that height imes 100

Cutoff points may vary, but <80% (close to -2 Z-score) is often used.

**Body Mass Index (BMI) is the quotient between weight and height squared (kg/m2). An individual with a BMI < 18.5 is regarded as a case of wasting.
**Percent of body weight lost (At Tufts, an unintentional loss of 6% or more in 6 months is regarded as wasting)

ee also

*Weight loss

External links

* [http://www1.va.gov/resdev/news/press_releases/wasting-syndrome-1209802.cfm Scientists find key to "wasting syndrome"]

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  • Wasting — Wast ing, a. Causing waste; also, undergoing waste; diminishing; as, a wasting disease; a wasting fortune. [1913 Webster] {Wasting palsy} (Med.), progressive muscular atrophy. See under {Progressive}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wasting — [wās′tiŋ] adj. 1. desolating; destructive [a wasting war] 2. destructive to health [wasting disease] wastingly adv …   English World dictionary

  • wasting — index decadent, deleterious, fatal, waste Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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  • wasting — wastingly, adv. wastingness, n. /way sting/, adj. 1. gradually reducing the fullness and strength of the body: a wasting disease. 2. laying waste; devastating; despoiling: the ravages of a wasting war. n. 3. Geol. See mass wasting. [1200 50; ME;… …   Universalium

  • wasting — wast|ing [ˈweıstıŋ] adj 1.) wasting disease/illness formal a disease that gradually makes you thinner and weaker 2.) wasting asset technical a property, business etc that is losing money ▪ The airline is clearly a wasting asset …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wasting — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun Wasting is used after these nouns: ↑muscle {{Roman}}II.{{/Roman}} adj. Wasting is used with these nouns: ↑asset …   Collocations dictionary

  • wasting — adjective wasting disease a wasting disease is one that gradually makes you become thinner and weaker …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • wasting — un·wasting; wasting; …   English syllables

  • wasting — wast•ing [[t]ˈweɪ stɪŋ[/t]] adj. 1) gradually reducing the fullness and strength of the body: a wasting disease[/ex] 2) laying waste; devastating: a wasting war[/ex] • Etymology: 1200–50 wast′ing•ly, adv. wast′ing•ness, n …   From formal English to slang

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