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Do you need to change your diet to improve your health?

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Introduction

Do you need to change your diet to improve your health? Everybody needs a balanced diet to stay healthy. We need a balanced diet because no single food contains the essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy and function efficiently. The nutritional value of a person's diet depends on the overall mixture of food that is eaten over a period of time, so a balanced diet is one that is likely to include a large variety of food, this ensures that the person takes in all the nutrients needed to stay healthy. 'A balanced diet is made up of; 10% protein, 60% starchy carbohydrate foods, And up to 30% fats (resource 3).' You should have a certain amount of fat in your diet as the body naturally stores fat under the skin and around organs and joints, it provides insulation and protects internal organs. Fat is critical for good health because it is a source of energy when the body doesn't have enough energy to perform life processes. 'Diets that do not allow fats are bad for you (resource 5).' ...read more.

Middle

On average, each person whose death could be attributed to obesity lost nine years of life (reference 2).' Obesity is the 2nd largest cause of cancer (1st is smoking) A useful way to find out if a person is average weight for their height is to work out their body mass index (BMI). Weight in kilograms =BMI (Height in metres squared) 'A desired BMI is considered to be in the region of 20-25. Above this is considered as being overweight. A BMI of 30 is considered obese. A BMI of over 40 is considered to be morbidly (severely) obese (reference 1).' There is a link between BMI and the risk of certain diseases. People with a BMI of 20-25 have a low but average risk, and those people with a BMI of over 40 have a very high risk of obtaining these related diseases. Also, having a waist circumference of more than 37 inches for a man and 32 inches for a woman means you could be increasing your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. ...read more.

Conclusion

In developed countries we have a very wide selection of grocery products. Also, we have lots of pre-packaged meals, soft drinks and fast-food restaurants. Because of this increase in convenience food we are choosing to eat more and more food which is high in fat, sugar and calories. Adults and children are decreasing the amount of time they spend on exercise, this could be a result of longer working hours, an increase in participation in sedentary recreational activities such as browsing the internet or watching TV and a decrease in physical education in schools. Also, modern day devices such as cars, remote controls and elevators contribute to the decrease in physical activity done in our day-to-day lives. 'This lack of physical activity has reduced the overall amount of energy expended throughout the day, contributing to the development of obesity (reference 4).' There are many treatments for obesity, these include; diets, exercise, behaviour modification (such as exercise and eating habits), weight-loss medications (such as sibutramine and orlistat) and surgery (gastroplasty or gastric bypass) Overall I feel that diet and exercise most affect body weight, a balanced diet and an adequate amount of exercise would be the best way to maintain an average weight and a healthy BMI. ...read more.

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