Difference Between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

Kwashiorkor and Marasmus are diseases that are caused by different kinds of malnutrition and are more common in small children. Many people think that they are two names of a same disease but there is considerable difference between the two conditions.

Kwashiorkor happens when there is a deficiency in the protein diet of a child whereas Marasmus is the result of a deficiency of protein, carbohydrates and fats in the diet of a child.

The two diseases both occur in children but the main difference is that Kwashiorkor is contracted by children over the age of one year whereas Marasmus occurs in children under the age of one year.

In Kwashiorkor, there is a selling in the body of the child and the main reason is the retention of fluids. On the other hand, there is no swelling in case of Marasmus. In Kwashiorkor, there is not wastage of muscles whereas there is evident weakness in case of Marasmus as the bones and skin is revealed.

Kwashiorkor has a greater effect on the skin of the child and the skin becomes broken whereas there is no change in the texture of the skin in case of the Marasmus disease.


  • 1


    Kwashiorkor is a common disease in young children from the age of 1-5 years. This disease is mainly caused by a deficiency of protein in the intake. The main cause of the disease is a minimal period between pregnancies in rural areas. There is certainly weakness in this condition but it is not evident looking at the body of the child. The only thing that is evident, apart from the swelling, is broken skin of the children.

  • 2


    Marasmus is a disease that is more common in the urban areas or towns. The main cause of this condition is the discontinuation of breastfeeding in young children at an early age. The disease is occurred in children under the age of one year and one of the causes is the deficiency of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the body of the child. The physical condition of the child s largely affected and the skins are bones can be seen.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 + = five