- The amount of each nutrient needed differs between individuals and at different life stages. Individual requirements of each nutrient are related to a person’s age, gender, level of physical activity and health status.
Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI)
An estimate used as part of the Dietary Reference Value (DRV) in the UK as a standard of the amounts of each nutrient needed by different groups of people in the population to maintain good health. The Reference Nutrient Intake is defined as:
An estimate of the levels of protein, vitamins and minerals that should meet the needs of most of the group to which they apply. The RNI is the amount of a nutrient that is enough to ensure that the needs of nearly all the group (97.5%) are being met. By definition, many within the group will need less.
The concept of food supplements is relatively recent. It was defined in the European Parliament directive 2002/46/EC, which was transposed by the French 20 March 2006 decree: “Food supplements means foodstuffs the purpose of which is to supplement a normal diet and which are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, alone or in combination”.
The legislation also specifies that they are “marketed in dose form, namely forms such as capsules, pellets, tablets, pills and other similar forms, sachets of powder, liquids in ampoules , drop dispensing bottles, and other similar forms of liquids and powders designed to be taken in small measured doses”.
Governed by the consumer code, food supplements must be declared to the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), which investigates their composition and carries out inspections similar to those performed for other categories of foodstuffs. The regulations stipulate the gradual establishment of a positive list of ingredients authorized for the manufacturing of food supplements. This list is currently focused on vitamins and minerals in Europe, and in France it also includes maximum permissible daily doses and miscellaneous substances such as plants (1).
There are food supplements made from plants, vitamins, minerals and other substances used for a wide variety of purposes including nutrition, weight-loss, energy, digestion, beauty, the treatment of menopause and the cardiovascular system.
However, unlike medication, the marketing of food supplements does not require an individual marketing authorisation based on the evaluation of an industrial application by an expert assessment body. The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that the marketed product is safe and compliant with current standards and that it does not mislead the consumer.
P2: describe the characteristics of nutrients and their benefits to the body of nutrients and their benefits to the body
M1 discuss the similarities and differences in the nutritional and energy requirements of two groups of individuals
This section will help me to understand which foods are important sources of particular nutrients, and the functions of those nutrients in the body. This will enable me to offer suitable foods to ensure that the nutritional needs are met. I also need to understand the way in which processing can affect the nutritional value of foods, so I can avoid the destructions of nutrients.
Carbohydrates are one of the main types of food. Your liver breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which the body uses for sugar. Sugars and starch are the main types of carbohydrates; these carbohydrates provide energy for the body. Carbohydrates are naturally occurring compounds that consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and are produced by green plants in the process of undergoing photosynthesis. In simple terms, photosynthesis is the biological conversion of light energy (that is, electromagnetic energy) from the Sun to chemical energy in plants. It is an extremely complex process, and a thorough treatment of it involves a great deal of technical terminology energy for your cells, tissues and organs'(Reference answers). Carbohydrates provide energy for the body. Even when you are asleep, your cells need oxygen and nutrients to function. Your heart needs to beat, your brain needs energy to maintain your vital functions and you need to replace cells.
Sugars occur naturally in foods, such as fruit and milk, or can be added. There is some of the simplest forms of sugar are glucose and fructose. These are monosaccharides, single molecules, and are easily digested by the body. Glucose can be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported around the body to provide energy.
Sugars are added to many types of food. Biscuits and cakes contain added sugar, but may not be aware that there is sugar in tomato ketchup, beer, high fibre snack bars and some tinned vegetables. It is recommended that no more than 11 per cent of an adult’s diet should be sugar.
The food standard agency recommends that a third of food we eat should come from starchy foods like pasta, rice, bread, potatoes and chapattis. Starchy food sometimes referred to as complex carbohydrates, release energy more slowly than sugars, so they will keep satisfied longer.
Carbohydrates have to be broken down into glucose before the cells can use energy. If the body doesn’t need all the glucose in the bloodstream the hormone insulin is released from the pancreas, which converts the excess glucose to glycogen. This is stored in the liver and muscles. Excess glucose may also be stored are body fat. Eating insufficient carbohydrates may result in protein being used for energy instead of for growth and repair. If a person’s diet is seriously deficient in carbohydrate the body starts to break down muscles and other tissue to produce glucose. This causes a state known as ketosis, and is more associated with people with diabetes, who are unable to use glucose in the bloodstream in the absence of insulin.
Non-starch polysaccharides (also known as fibre) are an important component of a healthy balanced diet obtained from vegetables and cereals. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble.
- Soluble: soluble fibre can be particularly digested and is important in reducing cholesterol in the blood. It also helps to control blood sugar levels, which in turn control appetite. Pulses, such as peas, beans and lentils, are a good source of soluble fibre, as are oats.
- Insoluble: insoluble fibre is contained is contained in vegetable stalks, whole meal cereal and brown rice, for example. It is also known as cellulose. Insoluble fibre is not absorbed by the body and therefore contains no usable calories. It is important because it forms the bulk in our faeces, preventing constipation, and is thought to help prevent bowel cancer and other bowel conditions. Fibre makes people feel full, so they are less likely to overeat.
Sugar substitutes (e.g. artificial sweeteners, sorbitol):
Artificial sweeteners allow food to be sweetened without the use of sugars, which are high in calories and cause tooth decay. Every time you use sweetener instead of sugar in drinks you save 15 calories per level teaspoonful. A diet soft drink has very few calories, whereas a normal version has about 150.
Protein is a vital nutrient used by the body for growth and repair, so it particularly important for infants and children, and people who are ill or injured. Proteins are made up of amino acids.
Polypeptides, essential and non-essential amino acids:
Proteins are formed when amino acids join together in chains, known as polypeptides. They are linked by peptide covalent bonds. The amino end of one amino acid links with the acid group of another. There are 20 different amino acids, which can combine to form different polypeptides, eight of which must come from the food we eat. The rest we can make ourselves. Complete proteins provide all the eight essential amino acids and include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, soya and cheese.
Proteins are used in the body in a variety of ways. All tissues in the body contain protein, including hair and bone. The recommended daily intake of protein, according to the food and Agriculture organization of united nation, varies according to age, size, gender, and how active a person is. For example, a baby boy weighing 4 kg needs approximately 10g of protein per day- about 2.5 g per kg body weight. An adult only needs about 0.6 g of protein per kg body weight, so if you weigh 60 kg you need about 36 g of protein per day.
If someone is following a vegan or vegetarian diet you must make sure it is varied, so that all eight essential amino acids are eaten. Don’t worry too much, as the body can store amino acids for a short time, as long as the diet is varied and well-balanced there shouldn’t be a problem. Good vegan sources of protein include nuts, seeds, lentils, beans and soya.
Monounsaturates, polysterates, and saturates:
Fatty acids are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are arranged as a carbon chain with hydrogen atoms attached and an identical COOH acid group to protein at one end. Each carbon atom has the potential to bond with four other atoms. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. In saturated fats the carbon atoms are joined in a chain by single bonds, and the remaining bonds are with hydrogen atoms, apart from the last carbon atom, which is attached to the acid group.
The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated molecules are too big to fit on the page, so the illustrations below show the principle rather than a specific molecule. Most saturated fat, such as lard, cream, butter and the fat on meat, comes from animal sources. Saturated fat is generally solid at room temperature. Most unsaturated fat is from vegetable sources, and it is usually liquid at room temperature.
Cis and Trans fats:
Unsaturated fats can exist in two different forms, as Cis fats or Tran fats. Cis fats are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, but have a short shelf life.
Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to Cis fats to change them into Tran fats, which makes them saturated. It increases the shelf life, but the resulting products have been found to increase the risk of heart disease, and many food manufacturers have stopped using them in their products.
Cholesterol can build up in the artery walls, narrowing the lumen (the channel with the artery). If this happens in the coronary arteries it may eventually lead to angina or a heart attack. If arteries in the brain are affected the risk of stroke is increased. People who naturally make a high amount of cholesterol need to be particularly careful to eat a diet low in saturated fat. They can be prescribed tablets called statins, which reduce the cholesterol in the blood, thus reducing the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
Vitamins are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to work properly. There are two types of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble. Fat –soluble vitamins can be stored in the body and therefore do not have to be eaten daily, whereas excess water- soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine, so a daily intake is necessary.
Soaking vegetables in water for long periods before cooking results in vitamins being lost in the water. Chopping vegetables too small creates a larger surface area, and more nutrients will be lost. If you do boil vegetables, use the water to make gravy. Vitamins are also lost when food is kept hot after cooking.
There are six major minerals and eight trace minerals found in food. Major minerals include iron, calcium magnesium, sodium and potassium. Even though some are only required to in tiny amounts, they are needed for chemical processes in the body and our health suffers if we do not get them.
Iron is part of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. Iron helps because it's important in the formation of haemoglobin, which is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Although iron is part of the antioxidant enzyme catalase, iron is not generally considered an antioxidant, because too much iron can cause oxidative damage.
The body needs iron to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Iron is necessary for production of haemoglobin, and oxygenation of red blood cells, builds up blood quality, and increases resistance as well as increasing energy production.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and has several important functions. Calcium is the top macro mineral when it comes to your bones. This mineral helps build strong bones, so you can do everything from standing up straight to scoring that winning goal. Calcium is a primary structural constituent of the skeleton, but it is also widely distributed in soft tissue where it is involved in neuromuscular, enzymatic, hormonal, and other metabolic activity.
Functions of calcium:
It helps in building of strong bones, healthy teeth, for chomping on tasty food. Because the body cannot manufacture calcium, you must eat calcium in your daily diet to replace the amounts that are constantly lost. Calcium is also used in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and maintenance of cell membranes. Long-term calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, in which the bone deteriorates and there is an increased risk of fractures. Calcium has also been found to assist in the production of lymphatic fluids. Just 1% of the total body pool of calcium is utilized to support nerve transmission, muscle contraction (including normal heart rhythm), blood clotting, and regulation of enzyme and hormone activities. Membrane calcium transport systems are involved in regulation of cellular osmolality and peripheral vascular resistance. Additionally, this mineral assists in transport of nutrients and other substances across cell membranes and is required for binding of intrinsic factor to ilea receptors for absorption of vitamin B12.
Trace elements are minerals that are only required in very tiny amounts, so unless a person has a specific condition, such as a gene abnormality, it is highly unlikely that a deficiency will occur. Trace elements include zinc and selenium.
Dietary sources and measurements:
The main dietary sources of energy are fats and carbohydrates. Energy is measured in both kilocalories and kilojoules, with both being displayed on food labels.
Energy values for protein, fat, carbohydrate and alcohol:
The energy density for proteins and carbohydrates is 4 calories per gram, compared to 9 calories per gram for fat, so you should avoid fat to lose weight. Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram of alcohol, so the calories in alcoholic drinks depend on the percentage of alcohol they contain.
Other diet-related consumption
Water is not only found in drinks, but is also a component of many foods. For example, fresh celery is 94 per cent water. Water makes up 70 per cent of the body’s weight. It is very important that people have an adequate intake of fluids because most of the chemical reactions that take place in our cells need water. Water is also required to carry nutrients around the body.
Water has several very important functions including:
- Regulating body temperature.
- Improving bowel function.
- Enabling chemical reactions to take place inside cells.
- Helping the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs.
- Aiding the action of medicines.
The average that adults should drink from fluids is about 2 litres a day. Most of the fluid we consume comes from drinks, but we also get fluids from foods such as lettuce and cucumber, soups and jelly.
Alcohol plays a significant part in British culture, and therefore cannot be ignored when exploring diet. As well as its effect on overall calorie intake, alcohol can affect health in both negative and positive ways.
The current government guidance is that we should limit our weekly intake of alcohol to 21 units a week for women and 28 units for men, spread over the week, rather in binges.
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to an increased risk of liver damage, known as cirrhosis. Some cancers are linked to alcohol, particularly liver, mouth, oesophagus, breast, bowel and larynx. Alcohol can also affect mental health, increasing depression, anxiety and aggression, and it can cause dementia.
The two individual groups that I chose are:
- Pregnant women
- Young people
The energy requirements of pregnant women:
- Pregnant women
Pregnant women have increased requirements for energy and some nutrients to help keep themselves and the developing baby healthy. Pregnant women should not ‘eat for two’, as they may become overweight, but energy requirements increase during the last three months of pregnancy.
If women want to become pregnant, they should take a supplement of folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects in their baby. A neural tube defect is called spina bifida, which affects the development of the spine and nervous system.
The pregnant woman’s diet must contain sufficient protein, iron, phosphorus and vitamins to meet the needs of the mother and the growing baby. Protein is needed for growth and repair of the mother and unborn child. Iron is needed to form red blood cells and help prevent anaemia, which can lead to tiredness and ill health.
Pregnant women should not eat too much vitamin A as it can harm the unborn baby. Eating a well-balanced diet provides all the vitamin A the body needs. Pregnant women should avoid liver or liver products such as pâté, as liver contains high levels of vitamin A. They should also check with a doctor before taking high-dose multivitamins or cod liver oil supplements, as these may also contain vitamin A.
The Department of Health advises that pregnant women, and women who are trying to get pregnant, should avoid drinking alcohol. Heavy drinking during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and more serious birth defects.
Listeria is a food-poisoning bacterium that can cause serious illness in pregnant women, and may lead to miscarriage or early delivery of the baby. Listeria may be found in uncooked meats, uncooked vegetables, unpasteurised milk, foods made from unpasteurised milk, and some chilled foods. Pasteurisation destroys the bacteria, so during pregnancy, pasteurised foods such as pasteurised cheese can be eaten.
Pregnant women should avoid raw eggs or any foods that contain raw eggs because they may contain salmonella, which causes food poisoning. Salmonella is also found in raw poultry and raw meat. Pregnant women must take care to avoid eating food that may lead to food poisoning, which causes sickness and diarrhoea, and loss of valuable nutrition.
Food for pregnant women
A pregnant woman should concentrate on increasing her nutrient intake, rather than her kilojoule intake, particularly in the first and second trimesters. In Australia, pregnant women are expected to gain about 10 to 13 kg during pregnancy. However, this depends on the pre-pregnancy weight of the mother.
- Not ‘crash dieting’, as this can have a negative impact on the baby.
- Not ‘eating for two’, as this will lead to unnecessary weight gain. A healthy pregnancy only requires about an extra 850 to 1,100 kilojoules a day during the second and third trimester, which is equivalent to a glass of milk or a sandwich.
- Concentrate on diet quality rather than quantity.
- Accommodate cravings, but don’t let them replace more nutritious foods.
- Nutrients for which there are increased requirements during pregnancy include folate, iron and iodine.
- Iron is required for oxygen transport in the body. Iron supplements can be advised by your doctor during pregnancy, but do not take them unless your doctor recommends them. Increasing vitamin C intake can help increase iron absorption from foods.
- Folate is important three months before and in the first trimester of pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects (like spina bifida) in the baby. All women of childbearing age should eat high-folate foods (such as green leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes) or take a folate supplement (remember to talk to your doctor first). It is now mandatory for all bread-making flour to be fortified with folic acid (a form of folate that is added to foods). This will help women reach their recommended intake of folate.
- Iodine is important for normal growth and development of the baby. Iodine supplements are often advised during pregnancy to meet the increased needs as food sources (such as seafood, iodised salt and bread) are unlikely to provide enough iodine. Speak to your doctor.
- The recommended intake of calcium does not specifically increase during pregnancy. It is, however, very important that pregnant women do meet calcium requirements during pregnancy.
- No one knows the safe limit of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Recommendations are to not drink at all.
- Pregnant women are advised to avoid foods that are associated with increased risk of the listeria bacteria (such as soft cheese and cold seafood) and to be careful with foods that are more likely to contain mercury (such as certain fish. such as flake).
- Being physically active has many benefits. If you are active and fit, and are experiencing a normal pregnancy, you can remain physically active during your pregnancy. Otherwise, consult your doctor for advice.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Do not smoke – both direct and passive smoking is associated with growth retardation, increased risk of spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, placental complications and low birth weight.
- Young people
Food for young children
Once a child is eating solids, offer a wide range of foods to ensure adequate nutrition. Young children are often picky with food, but should be encouraged to eat a wide variety of foods. Trying again with new foods may be needed for a child to accept that food. As many as eight to fifteen times may be needed.
During childhood, children tend to vary their food intake (spontaneously) to match their growth patterns. Children’s food needs vary widely, depending on their growth and their level of physical activity. Like energy needs, a child’s needs for protein, vitamins and minerals increase with age.
Ideally, children should be accumulating stores of nutrients in preparation for the rapid growth spurt experienced during adolescence. Appropriate weight gain and development will indicate whether food intake is appropriate.
Food-related problems for young children include overweight, obesity, tooth decay and food sensitivities.
- If a child is gaining inappropriate weight for growth, limit energy-dense, nutrient-poor snack foods. Increase your child’s physical activity. You could also limit the amount of television watching.
- Tooth decay can be prevented with regular brushing and visits to the dentist. Avoid sugary foods, especially if sticky or acidic.
- Ensure your child has enough fluids, especially water. Fruit juices should be limited.
- Reduced-fat milks are not recommended for children under the age of two, due to increased energy requirements and high growth rate at this age.
- Be aware of foods most likely to cause allergic reactions, including peanuts, shellfish and cow’s milk. Be particularly careful if there is a family history of food allergy.
P3: explain possible influences on dietary intake
M2: assess how influences on dietary intake may affect the nutritional health individuals
Factors that impact on our diet or food choices:
- Diabetes mellitus:
Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the hormone insulin is either not being produced by pancreas, is being produced in insufficient quantities or is not being used properly by the body. There are two types of diabetes mellitus. The most severe type is IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus). It is sometimes known as type 1 diabetes. The less severe form is NIDDM (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus). It is sometimes known as types 2 diabetes. IDDM is treated with insulin injections, whereas NIDDM is treated either by diet alone or with a combination of diet and tablets.
A healthy diet is needed, as poorly controlled diabetes can lead to some very serious complications, including blindness, kidney failure, strokes and gangrene, leading to amputation of lower limbs.
- Coeliac disease:
This is intolerance to the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten causes the immune system to produce antibodies, which attack the lining of the bowel. This can affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, and can lead to anaemia and osteoporosis. It also can increase the risk of bowel cancer. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, failure to gain weight in childhood, weight loss in adulthood, and anaemia.
People with coeliac disease need to eliminate all foods containing wheat, eye and barley from their diet. Gluten free products are available, but are very expensive to buy. If a person has been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease some gluten free products can be obtained on prescription.
- Irritable bowel syndrome:
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition where the bowel function is easily disturbed, causing abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating and either constipation or diarrhoea, or even both. However, on examination there is no apparent abnormality in the bowel. The cause is not clear, but there seems to overactivity in the nerves in the gut, and some people can identify particular food that causes their symptoms. Sometimes IBS develops following a bout of diarrhoea caused by an infection, and continues after the infection has gone. Some people find that they have these symptoms after a course of antibiotics, which kill the normal bacteria that should be present in the bowel.
- Lactose intolerance:
Lactose is the natural sugar in the milk. It can be mild or severe. Children who are lactose intolerant do not produce lactase, an enzyme that is used to break down lactose into glucose and galactose before being absorbed during digestion. Children with this condition in its severest form have difficulty putting on weight and suffer from diarrhoea. The lactose ferments inside the bowel, causing bloating lactose is present in a wide variety of foods, including chocolate, cheese, ice cream, mayonnaise and cakes. Anyone eliminating all these products form their diet is at risk of calcium deficiency, which can lead to rickets and osteoporosis, so it is important to make sure that sufficient calcium is still eaten.
- Food allergy:
Some people have an allergy to particular foods. A food allergy is sometimes confused with food intolerance, but if fact, is much more serious. An allergic reaction can be severe and life threatening. In adults, the most common food allergies are to nuts, fish and shellfish. In children cow’s milk, eggs, soya and wheat are common allergens, but any food can cause allergies.
- Itchy mouth
- Swollen lips, mouth tongue or throat.
- Vomiting or diarrhoea.
- Red itchy eye.
Some people develop a severe reaction called anaphylactic shock.
- Dietary habits:
It is thought that eating meals regularly together as a family may help to prevent the onset of eating disorders in children and adolescents.
There has been an increase in the habit of grazing over recent decades, and this pattern of eating is one of the factors blamed for rising obesity levels in the UK.
It is eating between meals. If the snacks consist of healthy foods, such as fruits, and do not push the daily calorie intake above energy use, then there is no problem with this. However, snacks consist of high fat, salty and sugary foods so this can be a problem.
There are so many people that have likes and dislikes in foods, and very few people like absolutely every food offered to them. Some people feel it is morally wrong to eat animals, and therefore wish to follow a vegetarian diet. Some people extent this to a vegan diet, where no animal products are eaten at all. Religion can also impose restrictions on dietary intake. When providing food and drink for individuals these considerations need to be taken into account, as you also need to ensure that the diet provided is nutritionally balanced. So it is not enough just to serve the same meal to everyone, omitting the foods that are not wanted. They must be replaced with foods of equal nutritional value.
Another influence on the diet taken is the food that is available. You can probably think of many occasions when you have eaten a chocolate bar just because it was in the house, and if it had not have been you might have toast instead, it is important that healthy food is readily available for people using health and social care services, or they too will not eat a healthy diet.
Drinks should be readily available. Water should be available at all times, perhaps by leaving jugs of water for people to help themselves.
For those who live in their own homes, but who are unable to cook or shop independently, planning is needed to ensure that food and drink are available when needed and desired. Lunchtime can usually be accommodated by the local meals service, which is organized through social services. Hot meals are delivered daily, even at weekends in cases where there is no realistic alternative. Some local authorities provide a choice of meal, which has to be ordered in advance; others will just deliver meals without offering a choice. Special diets will be catered for.
For other meals, people may be able to manage independently as long as the food is in the house. Shopping can be done by a home care assistant, a relative, a neighbour or by ordering on the internet. For those who cannot prepare any meals independently, a home care assistant, relative or neighbour might help. If a cooked lunch has been provided, many people will be happy with a flask of hot drink or a soup and a light evening meal left in the fridge, covered to keep it fresh.
Eating at home:
Eating at home means that you can have total control over what you eat. Cooking from raw ingredients can be a real eye opener when you find out exactly what goes into particular recipes, and is likely to make you eat a healthier diet.
Social eating and drinking:
The risk of eating out frequently is that it is tempting to choose high-fat, salty and sugary foods, which is fine for occasional treats, but not on a regular basis.
People who participate in strenuous activity will have different dietary needs. The international conference on foods, nutrition and sports in Lausanne agreed the following optimum nutrient intakes for most sports:
- 60-70 per cent of calories in the diet form carbohydrates.
- 12 per cent from protein
- And the remainder (19-28 per cent) from fat.
As people get older, they may do less activity, so if this is the case, their energy needs reduce. If they do not reduce their calorie intake they will start to gain weight, which will put strain on aging joints.
When trying to decide whether an older person is eating sufficient amounts of food, it is important to keep an eye on their weight. Weighing someone monthly should soon tell you if they are starting to lose or gain a significant amount of weight, and action can be taken to rectify this.
The way people spend their leisure time can also influence what they eat. Eating out and sporting activities have already been discussed. Most people eat differently on holiday, and this can be a time where people eat unhealthily and justify it to themselves. Some destinations can pose risks due to poor food hygiene, and some parasitic diseases can cause long-term health problems.
Cost of food:
Not all healthy food is expensive so you may be able to advise people on healthy foods that they can afford. For example, chicken and pork tend to be cheaper than beef and lamb, and are healthier foods, because they are lower in fat.
Access to shops:
The food that you are able to eat may depend on how easy it is for you to access shops. Supermarkets usually provide the best value for money, with a better choice and more competitive prices.
Most fruits and vegetables are available most of the year, which has had a big influence on menus. In developing countries and remote areas there will be much more seasonal variation affecting what people eat.
Social influences on food intake refer to the impact that one or more persons have on the eating behaviour of others, either direct or indirect, either conscious or subconscious. Even when eating alone, food choice is influenced by social factors because attitudes and habits develop through the interaction with others.
Research has shown that we eat more with our friends and family than when we eat alone and the quantity of food increases as the number of fellow diners grows.
The economics of food choice
The relationship between low socio-economic status and poor health is complicated and is influenced by gender, age, culture, environment, social and community networks, individual lifestyle factors and health behaviours (4).
Population studies show there are clear differences in social classes with regard to food and nutrient intakes. Low-income groups in particular, have a greater tendency to consume unbalanced diets and have low intakes of fruit and vegetables
This leads to both under-nutrition (micronutrients deficiency) and over-nutrition (energy overconsumption resulting in overweight and obesity) within the members of a community, depending on the age group, gender and level of deprivation. The disadvantaged also develop chronic diseases at an earlier age compared with higher socio-economic groups; usually identified by educational and occupational levels.
Low-income groups, who find it difficult to achieve a balanced healthy diet, are often referred to as experiencing food poverty or food insecurity. There are many aspects to food poverty but three of the main barriers to eating a balanced healthy diet include cost, accessibility and knowledge. These factors have led to the development of areas known as food deserts. A reliance on energy-rich, nutrient-poor foods is a consequence of lack of money to buy wholesome foods. The price premium on healthy foods also appears to be greater in low-income areas. Moreover, a lack of proper cooking facilities in the home increases the need to eat convenience or take-away food that has a potentially higher energy density.
Living on a low income can also present logistical obstacles to eating well such a lack of transportation. Public transport is not a viable solution for many, particularly those with young children or mobility difficulties. Finally, a lack of knowledge or too much conflicting information on diet and health, lack of motivation and the loss of cooking skills can inhibit buying and preparing meals from basic ingredients. Experimenting with cooking is a luxury that low-income groups can ill-afford.
Education level and income determine food choices and behaviours that can ultimately lead to diet-related diseases. The origins of many of the problems faced by people on low incomes emphasises the need for a multidisciplinary approach to targeting social needs and improving health inequalities.
Factors influencing food choice are not only based upon individual preferences, but are constrained by circumstances that are social, cultural and economic. Low-income groups face specific challenges when attempting dietary change and solutions need to be specifically targeted. The population at large also face numerous barriers to dietary change, which can be tackled with the help of tools borrowed from social psychology.
P4: carryout a quantitative analysis of daily intake of nutrients and energy by one individual
P5: prepare a one week plan for improving the nutrition of the individual
M3: assess how the plan will meet the nutritional needs of the chosen individual
The food diary
How the plan will meet the nutritional needs of the chosen individual
I gave her cornflakes with milk because it is very healthy and useful. That will benefit her because she is skipping breakfast, and that is not good for her health.
I gave her a very healthy meal called salad Olivieh which contains lots of vegetables. It contains potatoes, chicken, eggs, mayonnaise, onion, fresh peas, sour dill pickle, mustard, fresh lemon juice, parsley springs, Boston lettuce leaves, paprika and tomatoes.
I gave her for dinner fruit salad because it is much healthier for her because she had enough carbohydrates from salad Olivieh so fruits will give her some vitamins.
I gave her cheese sandwich with cup of tea because that will give her energy during school and help her to concentrate more.
On Tuesday I gave her Turkish shish kebab which contains mushrooms, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and green pepper in a skewer. This meal contains lots of vegetables which would help her diet to be balanced.
I gave her Vegetable meal contains carrots, potatoes, brokley and barcly, because it will give her healthy nutrition.
I gave her Jam sandwich with milk because she is skipping breakfast and that will help her to get energy.
I have given her fruits salad because it will give her fluids to have the energy to concentrate and do her work.
I gave her Spaghetti because she would be hungry after the school and that will make her feel better to do homework.
I gave her Weetabix because it is healthy for her and it will give her energy for a period of time not like sweets they make you feel to have lots of energy for some minutes but after like 30 hour you feel lazy after that.
I have given her Spinach lasagna which contains spinach, tomato sauce, crumbled tofu, light miso, and noodles so this meal have lots of nutrition and good vegetables where it will make her feel better.
I gave her Mash potatoes and beans which will help her to complete her diet perfectly because she had vitamins and carbohydrates.
I gave her egg on toast because it is a filling and healthy option. As she will be full, she will be less likely to snack.
I gave her low fat cheese brown baguette because the whole meal bread is more nutritious compared to the white bread.
I gave her Shepherd’s pie mix vegetables because she is having a balanced diet and she has nutrients in her meal with vegetables.
I gave her brown Bread and jam as it got more nutrients that the white bread.
I gave her chicken salad as she is getting protein from the chicken.
I gave her Hamesat khuthar because it contains lots of vegetables and that will balance her diet.
I gave her Weetabix because it has all the nutrients for her with a wheat and it is a filling and healthy breakfast.
I gave her spinach lasagna because it has a lot of green vegetables to help her have a balanced diet.
I gave her Vegetable meal which will help her to have all fluids and fresh foods.
By completing this unit I have understood that we should eat healthy and do exercise and I understand the concepts of nutritional health. I also know the characteristics of nutrients, and I also understood influences on food intake and nutritional health. I am able now able to use dietary information from an individual to make recommendations to improve nutritional health.