Developing an Awareness on the Importance of Good Diet for Well Being

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The United States is faced each year with increasing incidence of health issues, and this is of concern to individuals, the general population, and the entire country as health insurance, and governmental expenses on intervention keep rising. Health care givers are beginning to stress the need for prevention, as most of these health issues are preventable.

About 30% of Americans meet the criteria for obesity (Yanovski, & Yanoski, 2011).

This number keeps increasing, and the need for intervention is urgent. The purpose of this study is to highlight that many diseases are acquired from bad diets, and these diseases can be preventable by making healthy choices of food. Dornelas (2008), states that obesity is associated with many risks which include cardiovascular disease, sleep disorder, reflux disease, stress incontinence, and so many more. Decreasing the amount of calories can also have its negative consequence.

Eating disorders like anorexia have been associated with the need to avoid being fat, and this possesses its own health risks. Anorexia nervosa increases the risk of osteoporosis, organ shut down, heart muscles shrinkage, kidneys failure and irreversible brain damage occurrence (Berk, 2010). Too much or too little of food consumption has numerous risk factors. The other side effect of these disorders is the psychological impact it has on sufferers.

When the body mass index (BMI) is not in the range of 18.5 to 25 kg/m2, then the person is said to be at risk for diseases. If it is below 18.5 kg/m2, the person is at risk for osteoporosis the thinning of bones which can lead to bone fracture. People with anorexia nervosa fall in this category after losing 25 to 50 percent of their body weight, and lack of food to the body can deprive it of nutrients that it needs to sustain itself. Anorexic individuals stop menstruating because the body needs about 15 percent of body fat in order to menstruate. Malnutrition causes brittle nails, pale skin, fine dark hair in the body and extreme sensitivity to cold temperature (Berk, 2010). If this continues without treatment, the organs start shutting down and can even lead to death. When BMI is more than 25 kg/m2, then the person is said to be overweight, and anything more than 30 kg/m2 is considered obesity. The more obese a person is, the greater the risk association with diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, cardiac diseases and so on.

The body needs 6 to 11 servings of carbohydrates, 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 servings of fruits, proteins, and oil, fats and sugars are needed sparingly daily. The average calorie that the body needs is 2000 Cal. This can be adjusted based on height, gender, and activity. Someone with a sedentary lifestyle needs less calorie while, an athlete or active lifestyle needs more. It is important for the general population to know the caloric contents of the food they consume. Carbohydrate and protein contain 4 Cal/gram respectively, while fats/oils contain 9 Cal/gram. The population consumes more fats/oils than needed daily, and one can see that fat is more than double of carbohydrate and protein combined. When the body has insufficient protein, it results in the disease called kwashiorkor, and lack of total caloric intake results in the disease called marasmus. While excess caloric intake causes high cholesterol, type II diabetes, arteriosclerosis, obesity and much more.

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