What Does Nutrition Mean to You?
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 718
- Category: Nutrition
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Good nutrition takes on major roles in the life of healthy individuals. This is common knowledge among most individuals. However, two-thirds of American adults are still overweight or obese mostly due to bad eating habits and lack of exercise. On the other hand, there is an accepted self image that is portrayed by the media and our society which may also lead to deadly problems. Ten to fifteen percent of Americans suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia which is also very unhealthy nutritional habits. All these things can lead or be the result of a bad self image which, consequently, may lead to death by malnutrition or suicide.
“The term “obesity” obviously refers to the fat content in the body (2).” There is no doubt that poor nutrition is prevalent in America today. In a study, sixty-three percent of men and fifty-five percent of women had a body mass index of twenty-five or greater. Any number twenty-five or above is considered overweight or obese (2). Obesity is a huge epidemic in America. There are so many health risks related to this disease. In a survey study, a group was asked health and nutrition related questions to test their knowledge and a large percent did not know that there was a link between cholesterol concentration and the likelihood of developing heart disease (3). This result is shocking to me, but many Americans are uneducated (or maybe just ignoring) about many health issues related with their nutrition because of what society and television advertisements makes to be “acceptable.” Some health issues and diseases associated with overweight and obesity includes: physically handicap, impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension, hyperlipidema, diabetes mellitus, symptomatic cholelithiasis, psychological problems, social discrimination, impairment of self-image, and longevity (2).
Some of the most important problems in America are Cardiovascular disease, pre-mature coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, psychosocial disability, and musculoskeletal disorders. Childhood obesity in America is on the rise. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have labeled this increase an epidemic (1).” Television advertisements on shows that are most watched by children are filled with candy, sweets, soft drinks, soft drinks and no mention of health messages. On the contrary, other health problems related to poor nutrition are eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. This problem is not near as prevalent in the United States compared to obesity. It is still an issue that does occur. This is mostly a result of the portrayal of super skinny and tall women or even super muscular, fit men in the media.
The media is everywhere surrounding us in today’s day and time. Mostly women are affected by eating disorders because women want to lose weight and men usually want to gain muscle weight. “In population-based studies, lifetime major depression has been reported in about 50% of the women with anorexia nervosa (5).” Depression can be a result to this disease that all trickles down from poor nutrition. In conclusion, nutrition is important to me because my family has several overweight people and two being my parents. Seeing all the health issues they are suffering from now encourages me to try to eat a healthy diet and exercise. My father has a severe case of diabetes which has lead to several other health problems that puts his life at risk. For these reasons and many more, I want to keep good nutrition a top priority in my day to day lifestyle.
(1) Kristen Harrison and Amy L. Marske. Nutritional Content of Foods Advertised During the Television Programs Children Watch Most. American Journal of Public Health: September 2005, Vol. 95, No. 9, pp. 1568-1574. (2) Theodore B. Van Itallie,3 M.D. Obesity: Adverse Effects on Health and Longevity. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dec. 1979. (3) CR Hankey, S Eley, WS Leslie, CM Hunter and MEJ Lean. Public Health Nutrition. April 2003. pp. 337–343. (4) Aviva Must, PhD; Jennifer Spadano, MS; Eugenie H. Coakley, MA, MPH; Alison E. Field, ScD; Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH; William H. Dietz, MD, PhD JAMA. 1999;282 (16):1523-1529. doi:10.1001/jama.282.16.1523. (5) Tracey D. Wade, et al. Anorexia Nervosa and Major Depression: Shared Genetics and Environmental Risk Factors. The American Journal of Psychiatry. VOL. 157. No. 3. March 2000.