Food and nutrition refers to providing your body with adequate amounts of essential substances necessary for it to perform its daily functions, commonly referred to as nutrients. They come from the foods and drinks we eat such as starch for energy, proteins for building and repair as well as micronutrients and dietary fibre. Your individual nutrient requirements depend on age, activity level and whether or not you’re menstruating, pregnant or breastfeeding – each person’s requirements differ according to these factors.
Nutritional status of an individual can be defined by their relationship between food intake and utilization of nutrients, the types and amounts consumed as well as poor food choices or abnormal metabolism causing imbalanced foods to accumulate, while poor-feeding increases susceptibility to illness. A person who consumes adequate calories often have stronger immunity against diseases.
The USDA Nutrient Data Bank (NDB) is the primary source for nutritional composition data. Most data here pertains to foods sold, rather than consumed, without taking into account losses or modifications during processing, marketing and home use; additionally little is known about certain nutrients and nonnutrients present in food such as fiber, carotenoids and trace elements or contaminants (NRC, 1986). Therefore this approach may prove useful when investigating potential correlations between diet and chronic disease.
Malnutrition occurs when your body does not get enough of the essential vitamins and minerals it requires, due either to lack of food or being unable to absorb what you eat due to digestive issues, illness, surgery or certain medicines.
Food insecurity may also result from eating too little of certain high-protein foods like meat and dairy, leading to energy deficiency and weight loss. Severe protein-energy malnutrition – known as Kwashiorkor in developing countries – may result in weakness, failure to grow, water retention in the abdomen and water retention within organs such as the eyes.
Poverty heightens the risks and effects of malnutrition, so nutritionists have made it their mission to reduce global poverty while increasing access to healthy, whole foods worldwide. Furthermore, they promote better nutrition education programs so people understand how to choose healthier diets; their work involves actions taken individually, citywide, nationally, and globally.