Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Extreme form of malnutrition resulting from a severe deficiency in proteins but not in calories, characterized by failure to grow, wasting of muscles, los of appetite, irritability, anemia, and changes in the hair and skin (desquamation); one of the most obvious symptoms is a striated or ribbon-like quality of hair color, the result of periodical melanin and keratin production. A nutritional disease common among grain-eating peoples who sometimes feed children a gruel made from grains, which is plentiful but deficient in protein. Aka marasmic kwashiorkor; golden boy.

See marasmus.

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