Cause and Effect Nutrition
Nutrition (also called nourishment) is the delivery, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet. The diet of an organism is what it eats, which is largely determined by the observed tastiness of foods. A poor diet may have an injurious impact on health, causing deficiency diseases such as health-threatening conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Healthy nutrition and bad nutrition is the only thing separating a human being from living a longer life or a shorter life. Good nutrition can be broken down from the 6 major classes of nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, minerals, protein, vitamins, and water. These nutrient classes can be categorized as either macronutrients (needed in relatively large amounts) or micronutrients (needed in smaller quantities). The macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, protein, and water, and the micronutrients are minerals and vitamins. Without having these 6 main nutrients in your diet, you are not living a healthy lifestyle and could do some serious damage on the human body.
The typical American diet is too high in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, and too low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and fiber. Each nutrient serves a purpose to the body. For example, proteins are the basis of many body structures, (e.g. muscles, skin, and hair) and minerals, are extremely important for giving the body elements such as calcium and magnesium. Without good nutrition you may not be alive to even see your grandchildren but with good nutrition you will be sure enough to live much longer and a lot healthier. “Diet and inactivity-related diseases are expensive, and better nutrition could reduce the cost of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes by $71 billion each year.”(Frazao, pp.5-32)
Why is good nutrition so important? Well unhealthy eating (bad nutrition) and physical inactivity are the leading causes of death in United States. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “unhealthy eating and inactivity cause 310,000-580,000 deaths every year—similar to the number of deaths caused by tobacco, 13 times more than are caused by guns, and 20 times more than by drug use.” (McGinnis JM, pp. 2207-2212) Unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are major contributors to reduced quality of life and disabilities. “Almost two-thirds (61%) of American adults are overweight or obese.” (From Wallet to Waistline, N.p) Obesity rates in children have doubled in the last two decades, prompting concern about the rates of diet- and inactivity-related diseases that will occur as obese children age.
The benefits of good nutrition are numerous. Besides helping you maintain a healthy weight, good nutrition is essential for the body and all its systems to function