• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the importance of nutrition for health. It is the academic controversy surrounding what nutrients in the diet cause obesity and the consequences thereof on the adult population of the United Kingdom (UK) that will be focused on here in more depth

Extracts from this document...


Nutrition is a multifaceted field of study which plays an integral role in determining a person's health. Arguably, it is nigh impossible to cover everything that falls under its umbrella. Therefore, it is perhaps only practical to focus on an individual topic, in this case obesity. In order to understand obesity we must first understand nutrition. Black's Medical Dictionary (2005) states that nutrition is the absorption of food in order to produce energy. This food comes in the form of six nutrients, protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins and minerals, and water (Johnson, 2008). What and how much we eat impacts heavily upon our bodies and lifestyles. Too little and we become malnourished and in extreme cases vulnerable to cardiac arrest and hypokalemia (Garner et al, 1985). Too much and we risk coronary heart disease and cancer (Webb, 2008). The causes of obesity are varied and controversial. They include genetics, psychological factors, lifestyle, lack of exercise and diet. Although genetic factors are certainly prevalent, obesity is, according to Caterson (2004), strongly linked to the over consumption of food and moreover certain types of food. It is the academic controversy surrounding what nutrients in the diet cause obesity and the consequences thereof on the adult population of the United Kingdom (UK) that will be focused on here in more depth. Defining obesity is not straightforward. ...read more.


argues, the more insulin is stimulated (a direct result of carbohydrate consumption) the more body mass we will inevitably accumulate. This in turn, he argues, causes diabetes as well as coronary heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer. Nevertheless, the strength of the correlation between carbohydrates and weight gain is vehemently criticised by others in the medical sphere. Certainly Bray (2008) is one such adversary. In his direct address of Taubes' (2002) work he accuses him of vast oversimplification. Bray (2008) acknowledges that some diets can be too carbohydrate laden, especially with refined carbohydrate. However he argues that other body types undoubtedly suffer from obesity as an exact consequence of high fat diets. He believes there is no overwhelming evidence that carbohydrates are directly causing the diseases Taubes articulates. Indeed, Bray (2008) argues that fat is indisputably associated with diabetes and heart disease. Bray (2009) also argues that insulin secretion has only a marginal effect on weight gain. He states that Taubes' view is too 'insulin centric' (Bray, 2009, p.99). Taubes (2002) argues that insulin is the principle cause of obesity. However Bray (2009) disputes this claim arguing that insulin when elevated has an unexceptional effect on weight. He also states that Taubes' work fails to acknowledge the discovery of leptin. Leptin, as discovered by Zhang et al (Webb, 2008), is now known as the obese gene and is believed to work on satiety areas in the brain (Webb, 2009). ...read more.


Essentials of Human Nutrition. 3rd edn. New York: Oxford University Press. Marcovitch, Dr H. (2005) Black's Medical Dictionary. 41st edn. London: A & C Black Publishers Limited. Taubes, G. (2008) Good Calories, Bad Calories. 4th edn. New York: Vintage Books Inc. Webb, G. (2008) Nutrition and Health Promotion Approach. 3rd edn. London: Hodder Arnold. Williams, Sue Rodwell. (1997) Nutrition and Diet Therapy. 8th edn. Missouri: Mosby-Year Book Inc. Williams, Sue Rodwell. (2001) Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy. 11th edn. Missouri: Mosby-Year Book Inc. Astrup, A. Dyerberg, J. Selleck, M. & Stender, S. (2008) 'Nutrition transition and its relationship to the development of obesity and related chronic diseases', Obesity Reviews, 1 (9), pp. 48-52. Bray, G. (2008) 'Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes; New York: AA Knopf', Obesity Reviews, 3 (9), pp. 251-263 Bray, G (2009) 'Obesity: a failure of homeostasis because of hedonic rewards: a response to the letter from Gary Taubes', Obesity Reviews, 1 (10), pp. 99-102. Caterson, I. Hubbard, V. Bray, G. Grunstein, R. Hansen, B. Hong, Y. Labarthe, D. Seidell, J. & Smith, S. (2004) 'Obesity, a Worldwide Epidemic Related to Heart Disease and Stroke Group III: Worldwide Comorbidities of Obesity', Journal of the American Heart Association 2 (6), pp. 476-483 Department of Health (2007) Available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsStatistics/DH_4138630. (Accessed 28th April 2009) 'The Burden of Obesity on the NHS' (2009) The Hospital, Series 1, episode 3, Channel 4 Television, 21st April. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Healthcare essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    This essay will attempt to discuss the importance of safer sex health education and ...

    4 star(s)

    The department its self was well organised and very welcoming, the staff are approachable within a relaxed environment, it appeared to the author that the main reasons for attendance to the clinic was that the patients had exposed themselves to sexually transmitted infection (STI's)

  2. The aim of this study was to investigate the health and nutritional status of ...

    may have stopped smoking as they get older for health reasons (Kerr, 2006). 4.2 Alcohol In the ELSA study, drinking alcohol occasionally has been associated with a reduced risk of death, when compared with those who never drink alcohol and those who drink alcohol everyday (Nazroo, 2008).

  1. The business I have chosen to study is Nab wood School in Cottingley Manor ...

    Essentially, a policy statement should consist of three parts, as follows: 1 A general statement of intent This should outline in broad terms the organisation's overall philosophy in relation to the management of health and safety, including reference to the broad responsibilities of both management and workforce.

  2. Free essay

    Vegetarian vs. Meat-based diets

    the hepatitis A outbreak was due to the wrong handling of strawberries by workers who were not aware of basic hygiene when harvesting and picking the strawberries (Jongen, p. 67). Farming and harvesting vegetables is a risky process in that there are several variables that can determine a crop's healthiness.

  1. Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhea in the United States. It is ...

    Fifty percent of parents whose infants are infected with rotavirus, also contract it as well. It is common for reinfection to occur in adults and children. In North America, urban outbreaks typically begin in the south and progressing to the north and east.

  2. Should an obese individual be treated by the NHS in the same manner a ...

    MUTYH-associated polyposis, is a syndrome in which colon polyps develops and becomes cancerous if the colon is not removed. This gene is caused by mutations in the gene MUTYH. Lastly an unchangeable factor that causes bowel cancer is an individual?s racial and ethnical background.

  1. Review of Factors Influencing Successful Patient Education in a Rehab Unit for Spinal Cord ...

    Literature with multidisciplinary approach to patient education 8. Literature about the implementation of patient education. 9. Literature including spinal patients about their experience. 10. Literature including international research worldwide from developed as well as the non-developed countries. This will help to get culturally rich information from different countries; in

  2. This essay will give an overview of the structure and quality of health and ...

    When all these aspects are put together they are able to provide the highest quality of care throughout the health and social care system. Organisation governance is a system that takes part in quality control and assurance. Their role is to provide organisations with an aims to achieve.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work