Acute malnutrition is a nutritional shortage caused by a lack of energy or protein in the diet. In developing nations, children with primary acute malnutrition are widespread as a result of insufficient food supplies caused by social, economic, and environmental issues. Secondary acute malnutrition is usually due to an underlying disease causing abnormal nutrient loss, increased energy expenditure, or decreased food intake. Acute malnutrition leads to biochemical changes based on metabolic, hormonal, and glucoregulatory mechanisms. With nutrition-specific therapies, the majority of children with primary acute malnutrition can be managed at home (i.e., counselling of parents, ensuring household food security, etc.). Inpatient treatment is recommended in cases of severe acute malnutrition and consequences. The underlying cause of secondary acute malnutrition should be addressed.