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How important is food?

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How important is food? Food is vital for life. The food we eat must provide us with nutrients and energy, which we need to keep us healthy. It is controlling the quantity and quality of the food we eat, alongside regular exercise, which will enable us to do this. The body needs over forty different nutrients for good health, from a variety of foods. Nearly half of our intake should come from carbohydrates, along with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Dr Susan Jebb, writing for the BBC, reports that 'people who choose to eat food that is high in fat or calories in just a small portion are more likely to gain weight than those who tend to fill their plates with bulky, low energy foods'. ...read more.


Obesity is higher in European countries than in developing countries, which is mainly due to contrasts in diets. Developing countries, such as Ethiopia and Nepal, have issues of famine and poverty which lead to malnutrition and hunger. Their diet rarely supplies them with the necessary nutrients and energy they need. On the other hand, European diets typically have a high fat diet (typically 40% total calorific intake), and therefore it is very easy to consume more calories than is needed or intended. Cotton and Blundell (1993) refer to this as 'Passive over consumption'. Despite the sharp rise in diagnosed obesity in recent years (100% in the last decade), the UK National Food Survey found that calorie intake has declined by 20% between 1970 and 1990. ...read more.


The importance of a healthy lifestyle comes from the fact that those who are a healthy weight have significantly less health problems than those who are overweight. Our 'feel good' factor and general well-bring are also important, even if they are perhaps sometimes psychological. We must learn to control portion sizes and to reduce, not eliminate, certain food types, as this will in turn increase our knowledge and understanding of the components of a healthy diet. Regular exercise and physical activity also help to keep our heart healthy, and is especially beneficiary to those wanting to lose weight as it helps to burn off any excess calorie intake. Even small, everyday changes count, such as walking up flights of stairs instead of taking the lift, and set us in the right frame of mind for a healthy lifestyle. Nicola Glyde Communications assignment Word count: 696 ...read more.

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