BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Global Health: Nutrition



Nutrition can be defined as the science that interprets the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food as well as their relationship to the maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and disease in an organism. It encompasses various stages of food intake including absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion. The major sources of nutrients include foods, drinks, fruits, vegetables and multivitamin capsules. To ensure the preservation and retention of nutrients, foods must be prepared and stored using methods that prevent nutrients from oxidation, and that reduces risk of foodborne illnesses.

The lack of nutrients in humans is called under-nutrition or malnutrition and may result in deficiency-related diseases such as blindness, anemia, scurvy, preterm birth, stillbirth and cretinism. On the other hand, having some nutrients in excess may cause health-threatening conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome and chronic systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.

The importance of good nutrition is obvious and cannot be overemphasized. The association between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is also too important to be ignored. Good nutrition is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and food choices affect mood and health. In combination with physical activity, good nutrition helps in the maintenance of a healthy weight, decreases the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer and promotes overall health. One of the major impacts of poor nutrition is obesity; for example, about one-third of adults (33.8%) in the United States are obese and approximately 17%- about 12.5 million children and adolescents between the ages of 2 to 9 years are also obese. Irrespective of one’s body mass index, poor nutrition is associated with major health risks that can lead to morbidity or mortality. Some associated diseases include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.

The great news is, these health problems and diseases are mostly preventable by making wise food choices. It remains important to instill healthy eating habits in children who more often than not carry these habits into adulthood- teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will more likely help them stay healthy throughout their life. Conclusively, eating healthy balanced diets, which is the only source of good nutrition gives the body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, active, and strong.

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