Healthy Living, Fitness and Nutrition – The Role of Diet in Health and Fitness
Improving the quality of life through health and nutrition involve following a diet pattern and adequate levels of nutrition to prevent diseases and maintain physical fitness. Issues of malnutrition would be related to deficiencies of vitamins or nutrients and intake of supplements form an important part of disease prevention strategy and helps in improving energy levels (Papers4you.com, 2006). The use of supplements in disease conditions such as high cholesterol levels has been studied to understand the positive and negative impact of dietary supplements on the health of individuals. For instance, vitamin A deficiency can be a major public health concern and many countries implement strategies to prevent such deficiency cases (Whiting et al, 2006). Vitamin C or ascorbic acid can be detrimental when deficient or in excess and recommended doses of Vitamin C have been given by various countries. Public health authorities across the world encourage individuals to change their health status by adopting new behaviors such as giving up smoking or changing dietary patterns. Apart from vitamins and minerals, fatty acids play an important role in modulation and prevention of diseases. However, maintaining a strict dietary pattern and fitness regimen could be explained with the help of social control and cultural values. Fitness levels are determined with measures on speed, strength and flexibility of athletes or even ordinary individuals and energy costs are directly related to nutrition, diet, exercise and physiology (Papers4you.com, 2006). In this context the relevance of the gym culture may be studied as the gym going motivation may be similar to the motivation to follow a strict diet pattern and this in turn have an impact on general health and fitness levels (Bull, et al 2006). This is because any kind of rigorous physical exercise brings about thermo regulation that facilitates heat loss and regulates internal body temperature.
One of the important issues in nutrition and health studies would be prevalence of diseases and diet patterns and lifestyle have a direct impact on the health status of individuals. Smoking for instance has been related to lung cancer and heart disease by analyzing data on mortality rates, smoking habits, lung cancer and coronary heart disease and the health benefits of quitting smoking have also been established in several studies (Saijo, 2006).
An important topic of nutrition studies is life expectancy and health and disease in the elderly. The problem of malnutrition is increased during old age as the elderly may have inadequate diet and poor mobility that prevent them from following a recommended diet pattern. In certain cases, poor nutrition can lead to chronic conditions and poor physical mobility and the elderly would thus need specific interventions and effective treatment patterns. General studies on gender variations in life expectancy and illnesses have shown that women tend to live longer than men but also tend to report illnesses more than men (WHO, 2000).
Bull, Sheana; Eakin, Elizabeth; Reeves, Marina; Kimberly, Riley (2006), Multi-level support for physical activity and healthy eating, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Volume 54, Number 5, pp. 585-593(9)
Papers For You (2006) “C/N/14. How does the disciplinary regime of dieting (and/ or exercising) work to produce ‘docile bodies’? “, http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtothers10.htm
Papers For You (2006) “S/PS/24. An attempt to change health behaviour by eating five portions of fruit and vegetables daily: A critical evaluation”, Papers4you.com
Saijo, Nagahiro (2006) Recent trends in the treatment of advanced lung cancer Cancer Science, Volume 97, Number 6, pp. 448-452(5)
Whiting, Susan J.; Barabash, Wade A. (2006) Dietary Reference Intakes for the micronutrients: considerations for physical activity Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Volume 31, Number 1, 1 February, pp. 80-85(6)
WHO factsheet – Women, Ageing and Health (2000) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs252/en/