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Why our children suffer from childhood obesity at ever increasing rates. Analysis as to why this has become a trend and provide suggestions for a solution

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Dietary supplements

I prefer dietary supplements to energy drinks because they are important in ensuring that the body gets enough essential substances required and some may minimize the risks of getting ill. The supplements are better than energy drinks which are caffeinated and calls for consideration of a person’s health before consumption.

A friend, who is a bit older regularly, uses Vitamin D supplements.  The supplements provide Vitamin D, which has been associated with a myriad of benefits. The lack of this Vitamin has been associated with high risks of many diseases including diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders, dementia and even cancer.  The use of the supplement helps in the prevention of these illnesses. Another major benefit is that Vitamin D helps in building of strong bones. This is because it improves the rate of absorption of phosphorous and calcium which are important ingredients in the structure of human bones (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017).  However, there are health risks that have been associated with an overdose of this vitamin. A high intake of this vitamin has been associated with increased cases of falls and fractures especially in older women.  In some cases, a supplement with too much vitamin D can lead to hypocalcaemia, where build up of calcium in blood may form deposits in soft tissues including arteries (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017).


Harvard Health Publishing, (2017) .Taking too much vitamin D can cloud its benefits and create health risks. Retrieved from:



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 According to Wedman & Kirchhoff (2006), Nutrition is a study where nutritionists study the food (nutrients) for the purpose of maintaining health and well-being. Smolin & Grosvenor (2009) add that nutrition is an effective factor used in improving health and performance in life. Human beings are required to have an optimal nutrition in order to live healthy lifestyle.  Optimal nutrition is important since it promotes physical growth and brain development during childhood. For example, children who take iron reduce the risk of anemia and they improve physical activities. Nutrition mainly increases physical activity and contributes to better life outcomes.  In adults, nutrition is important in growth and development and optimal nutrition prevent diseases such as cancers, heart attacks and more. Optimal nutrition has a major impact not only in health but also in economy as it reduces cost to nations and families.

Nutrition involves all processes used in obtaining nutrients for life support in organism.  Nutritional science covers various disciplines designed to study and investigate food components for health performance in human beings (Wedman & Kirchhoff, 2006). Nutrition is important in sustaining life and lack of nutrition leads to ineffective functions, disease and death. For example, diet which majority of Americans consume lack enough nutrients and they have developed poor dietary habit.  In fact, majority are unhealthy eaters since they consume food with full of sugar, starch and calories and they fail to eat fruits and vegetables.  The poor eating behaviors have contributed to overweight, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, cancer and depression.  However, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a worldwide organization which helps people especially Americans to follow the correct diet (Wedman & Kirchhoff, 2006). Health is important as it provides the ability to conduct daily operation, to communicate, to learn and more importantly to achieve goals in life.

 Nutrition is a broader term which involves the scientific process of investigation of food and health and how organisms can consume food to decrease the risk of diseases.  In addition, nutrition is a scientific field which studios how food and eating can improve economy, social culture and psychological development. According to World Health Organization, health is a state when human beings have physical and social well being and are free from diseases (Smolin & Grosvenor, 2009).  Health is important as it helps human beings maintain an optimal growth, effective functions of body tissues, provides ability to maintain mental health and to combat diseases. Minerals and vitamins are in this category of nutrients   needed by the body. Other term which is found in nutrition science is malnutrition and the term stands for a pathological state which occurs when human beings have deficiency   or excess of nutrients. Malnutrition is divided into four categories which comprise under nutrition- occur when human beings fail to take sufficient nutrients   for a long period of time. Over nutrition-occurs when human beings consume excess nutrients for a long period of time. Imbalance-occurs when essential nutrients are not taken and last is specific deficiency which occurs when human beings lack individual nutrients. Nutrition science is a field where nutritionists creates a hypothesis, conducts tests and observes the results (Smolin & Grosvenor, 2009).

 History of nutrition in science

The history of nutrition comprise the history of food, means  of  production and distribution,  diet and associated habits of eating,  foodstuffs and society. Various theories have come up with human practices which have aided nutrition science. In discussing the history of nutrition, Kamminga, (1995) states that States from Western capitalist were the first to establish laboratory science which manly dealt with human diet. The modern nation state view nutrition as a science and they concentrate much on health and welfare.  The states believe that citizens need good health for them to carry out physical labor and fight for the state in times of war.  In addition, the state has the duty to ensure that citizens are educated and provided with resources for them to carry out normal activities for life and state development. Up to that point, it is important to understand that in 19th century, it was assumed that for state and citizens to carry out functions effectively and bring development, health diet were key elements (Kamminga, 1995).  In other word, adequate diet was necessary and study and research on diet was tied into different field of science namely, chemistry and physiological chemistry. The modern state nations support the research of diet in these field though establishing university laboratories.  States also established dietary intervention through providing food to civilian population. The population was provided with school milk, hospital diets food supplements and media was used to educate people on nutritional issues. The dietary intervention positively impacted sociopolitical and economic areas.  Nutrition science started back in 1840 and during this period, professionals and physiologist started investigation on physiological chemistry and they mainly focused on nutrition (Kamminga, 1995). 

Importance of nutrition

DUMLU et al, (2014) assert that nutrition is important to critically ill patients in intensive care units. Patients require nutritional intake to prevent malnutrition. Note that poor nutrition deteriorates the disease and patients require proper feeding method in order to improve from the condition. A nutritional assessment is done to determine the intestinal function and hemodynamic status as well as role of carbohydrates and other minerals and vitamins (DUMLU et al, 2014) The article asserts that malnutrition occurs when body lacks macro and micro nutrients and this affects cell mass and causes organ dysfunction.  To prevent this problem to critical ill people in ICU, nutritional support prevents nutritional deficiency. Rogers, (2015) adds that nutrition is important in controlling cancer. Optimal nutrition helps child in development and growth.  In children and adults suffering from cancer, nutrition reduces mortality and improves quality of life. However, coordinated approach is aligned with detection of cancer epidemiology, treatment and rehabilitation. In addition, cancer is controlled by conducting evidence-based strategies and implementing health programs for detection, diagnosis and prevention.  Nutrition play role in supportive care and prevention (Rogers, 2015).  Evidence of nutrition role on controlling cancer is derived from a case-control studies which states that during early pregnancy, fruit, vegetables and   vitamin supplements prevents pediatric cancers. In addition, a meta-analysis studies show that multivitamins prevents neuroblastoma and tumors.  Holmes (2010) asserts that nutritionist play an important role in patients with chronic illnesses. Nutrition meets physical requirements and also provides psychological benefits.  Patients in palliative care suffer from symptoms which affect the appetite. This leads to undernutrition which then causes morbidity and mortality. The latter is influenced by impairing of muscle function, reduction of cardiac output, immune dysfunction and increases infection risk. Patients who fail to take enough nutrients suffer from mental problems (Holmes, 2011). Nutrition in palliative care plays an important role in sustaining life and nutritional status. By receiving sufficient nutrients, patients are able to repair the damaged tissues, meet the metabolic demands, maintain immunocompetence and promote quality of life. In palliative care, nutrition should be administered in patients’ life since it   alleviates symptoms associated with depression, infections and more. During the early stage, clinical management should be supported by psychosocial support and nutrition.

Importance of vitamin and mineral

 Vitamins and minerals are important in the body and they are only used in small amount. They play an important role of burning calories and regulating functions.  Minerals are elements which do not have contain carbon (inorganic) and the lack of minerals in the body results in weight gain, poor reproductive traits and more (Campbell  & Jacobson, 2013). There is macro and micro minerals and both play an important in growth and development. For example, macro minerals are needed in large amount and they include sodium, potassium chlorine and more.  Macro minerals are good for body functions and skeletal growth. Micro minerals are needed in small amount and they include zinc, iron, copper, fluorine and more. They play role in the production of energy, strengths bones and teeth, produces hemoglobin and other functions (Campbell & Jacobson, 2013).  Vitamins sources are important for body functions. They also promote health and reduce the risk of diseases.  Different types of vitamins perform various roles which enhances growth and development.


Do we need to take vitamin and mineral supplements?

 In addressing the question on taking supplements, Natow & Heslin, (2004) state that supplements such as pills or capsules act like a car insurance which does not assist in safe driving. In other words, supplements are important but they do not replace the healthy foods. Natow & Heslin, (2004) answers this question in a unique manner as he says that before choosing to take supplements, everyone should consider issues like, losing weight, recovering from illness, smoking, alcohol, stress, pregnancy, breastfeeding among other medical questions.  For instance, multivitamin are mineral supplements taken to prevent chronic illnesses. In addition, it is recommendable that even if people may decide to take supplements, they should combine with health diet. Other thing to understand is that dietary supplements promote a healthy life but the drug prescribed as supplements cause health problems (Natow & Heslin, 2004).  Thus, people should make wise choices and ensure safe dietary supplements.  In making health choices, food should be first priority, and then supplements should come later.  In U.S, adults who use supplements comprise 40% while children comprise 30%. This is an indication that majority of individuals do to take supplements instead they derive vitamins and minerals from health diet. Compared with food, supplements are expensive. Thus, the only wise thing to do is to eat health food and do exercise (Natow & Heslin, 2004).

Vitamins and Minerals Tables






Vitamin A

-Effective for growth and development

-promotes visual system

-maintains epithelia cellular integrity (WHO & FAO, 2004).


-fish liver oils






 -orange fruits



-Causes xerophthalmia

Night blindness

 -poor reproduction


 -Poor growth and development.

Vitamin D

-Maintains  blood levels

 -modulates cell cycle  fights infection

-controls blood pressure

 -produces insulin

-used in born formation

 -regulates calcium and phosphate

 -support kidney function

  -supports bones growth

-modulates cell cycle proteins

 -provides response to infections (WHO & FAO, 2004).

-direct sunlight


 -orange juice


 -fortified cereals

-fortified yogurt


 -fish liver oil


-fatty fish

-Causes rickets in children

-weak bones in adult

-affects glucose metabolism -glucose intolerance

-reduces cell functions

-muscles weakness

 -bone fractures

-unexplained fatigue (WHO & FAO, 2004).

Vitamin K

-Maintains normal coagulation

- acts in carboxylation reaction

-regulates blood clotting

-Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, Kale, Broccoli 

-vegetable oil such as olive



-menaquinone-rich food such as  livers and cheeses (WHO & FAO, 2004).

-Causes internal hemorrhaging

 -bleeding in children,

Vitamin E

-Has a defense systems which protects  the production of oxidizable substrates

-reduces cardiovascular disease

- prevents lipid peroxidation,

-Animal fats and meats




 -fish, vegetable oil such as coconut, olive,


-Causes leakage of muscle enzymes

-increases  lipid peroxidation

 -increase erythrocute


-weak bones

Vitamin C

 Acts as a reducing agent

enzymatic function

Miscellaneous functions (WHO & FAO, 2004).

-Fruits such as citrus fruits ,water melon, mangoes

-vegetables, such as broccoli, tomatoes,

-Causes scurvy

 -join pain

 -gums bleeding

Vitamin B-12

-Promotes the growth  of muscles

-maintains red blood cells

-produces amino acid


-red meat






 -seafood (WHO & FAO, 2004).





Vitamin B-6

 -Changes food into energy

- prevents infection

-growth and development in children

 -prevents heart diseases

-promotes brain functions (WHO & FAO, 2004).

-Check peas





-brown rise


-depression nausea

-skin rashes disorder


Vitamins B-1 (thiamin) B-2 (riboflavin)

-Changes food into energy

-promotes eyesight,

-promotes nervous system

 -prevents sores





 -water melon


-whole grain



 -yogurt (WHO & FAO, 2004).


 -weak muscles




Vitamin B-3

-Converts food into energy

 -maintains health skin, -helps in  digestive system


-red meat


 -whole grain





 -mental confusion





Vitamin B-9

-Promotes red blood

 cells growth

 -prevent birth defects


-citrus  fruit


- fish


-digestive disorders

-weight loss









-Provides skeleton rigidity

 -helps in blood clotting

 -helps in the functions of nervous system

-secrets hormone

 Bone formation (WHO & FAO, 2001).



 -fortified cereals

 -daily products


 -leafy vegetables


 -milk (WHO & FAO, 2001).

-Affects brain functions -memory loss

 -metal confusion

-rickets in children

-milk fever

-hypocalcaemia (WHO & FAO, 2001).


-Produces hemoglobin

-transports electron

-supports immune system






-whole grain




 -retarded growth

-cracked lips



-insomnia (WHO & FAO, 2001).


-Supports mitochondria


 -maintain heart rhythm



-nuts milk


-sunflower seeds


-Muscle cramps



-Regulates calcium

-promotes fertility

-maintain body minerals (WHO & FAO, 2001).



- meat


- milk


-Bone pain




-poor appetite


-Maintains body fluid -promotes electrolyte function

- Nerve transmission (WHO & FAO, 2001).








-Muscle cramps


-loss of hair


 -Transfers nutrients

-removes water

-maintains remen and blood pH (WHO & FAO, 2001).



-cured meat


-Affects male fertility

-urine licking


-Promotes normal growth

 -regulates appetite

-strengthens immune system

  -repair tissues

-supports immune  syste(WHO & FAO, 2001).









 -loss of appetite

 -mental slowness

- poor wound healing (WHO & FAO, 2001).







Nutrition is a broad term which means the science of investigating the food which is required by the body and it also means the habit of utilizing food rich in nutrients.  Vitamins and minerals are nutrients and body requires nutrition which respect to physical activities, diseases among other factors.  Nutrition is important as it enhances growth and development and the more people take nutrients the more they prevent illnesses and prolongs the days of life.  Other important point which research has shown is that supplements are important but it should be taken in dietary concern.  For example, vegetarians, people with food allergies, pregnancy women, older adults and patients with medical condition may be prescribed supplements. However, supplements should not be used to maintain healthy life but rather people should eat healthy diet full of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. The research has shown that nutrition is maintained through developing healthy eating habits and more importantly making wise food choices.  It is recommendable that people should plan a dietary pattern   in order to provide the body with minerals and vitamins required.












Campbell, T. C., & Jacobson, H. (2013). Whole: Rethinking the science of nutrition. BenBella Books,



general consideration of the importance of nutrition for critically ill patients. Turkish Journal Of

Medical Sciences, 44(6), 1055-1059. doi:10.3906/sag-1308-68


Holmes, S. (2011). Importance of nutrition in palliative care of patients with chronic disease. Primary

Health Care, 21(6), 31-39.


Kamminga, H. (1995). The science and culture of nutrition. Amsterdam [u.a.: Rodopi.


Rogers, P. C. (2015). Importance of nutrition in pediatric oncology. Indian Journal Of Cancer, 52(2), 176-

  1. doi:10.4103/0019-509X.17583


Natow B. Annette & Heslin Jo-Ann. (2004). The Vitamin and Mineral Food Counter. Simon and Schuster, 


Smolin A. Lori & Grosvenor B. Mary. (2009). Basic Nutrition. Infobase Publishing



Wedman, B., & Kirchhoff, . (2006). Nutrition: Steps to healthy living. St. Louis, MO: Milliken Publishing




World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ( WHO & FAO).

  1. Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. Second edition.


World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (WHO & FAO).

(2001). Human vitamin and mineral requirements. Food and Nutrition Division FAO Rome

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Implementing change—A Funding Conundrum: Choosing to Fund Over or Under Nutrition

Good nutrition is the basis of child development, health and survival since children who are well-nourished can grow and learn hence contributing to their communities’ welfare. It would be more sensible to address the undernourished children since they are more susceptible to diseases, are more likely to suffer stunted mental and physical growth and are likely to die young (UNICEF, 2015). When such children survive, their opportunities in life hampered in terms of attaining quality education and chances for decent employment (Young, 2013).

It is important to note that under nutrition is a political issue, and at times little can be done by parents of such children to correct the situations if they are economically and socially disadvantaged. As such it is important to have a funding program for the under nourished individuals by offering them means of accessing right food choices. The reasons for under nutrition can be beyond the influence of the affected individual and this call for intervening on their behalf and empowering them on how to obtain balanced diet especially for children or offering them the nutritious foods (Young, 2013).

On the other hand, over nutrition is not about lack of funding but result mostly from personal choices which can be adjusted to address the issue.  While under nutrition is as a result of lack of enough nutrition, over nutrition is about eating the wrong food choices due to lifestyle changes (Young, 2013). It is not about political choices and personal choices and it takes less effort to address it if the affect households are educated. Hence choosing to support under nutrition is evidenced by the need for outside intervention.


Young, M., (2013).Food and Development. Routledge.1-5

UNICEF, (2015).Unlocking children’s potential. Retrieved from:



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Nutrition Education and Counseling


  1. Annotation
  2. Summary
  3. Importance of nutrition education
  4. steps of the nutrition education
  5. Seers education
  6. Group education
  • Unknown words
  1. Chart











Nutrition education shows the importance of eating healthy and essential dietary changes. It aims mostly at the adolescents so that they can adapt to new eating behaviors. The initial stage of adolescent training is precontemplation as they are not aware and it aims in creating awareness (Croll, Neumark-Sztainer & Story, 2001). Contemplation is the second stage that lasts for six months as it aims at increasing motivation. Preparation is the third stage that aims at initiating change within 30 days. Action is the fourth stage that lasts 6 months or less that drives commitment to change. Maintenance is the last stage of the learning curve that advocates for the continuity of changes and new behavior in order to prevent relapse (Croll, Neumark-Sztainer & Story, 2001). Peer education is important as it promotes behavior change. Peer educators have good communication, a mastery of the skill, show interest to work with other teens and are able to identify teens that may need a referral. There is the importance of providing a teen in the input strategy as they will feel ownership in the group ideas. There should be an advocacy of practice behavior in the adolescents in order to empower them and reinforce their behaviors.


Nutrition education is important to adolescent as it contributes to their psychosocial development. It is crucial as the adolescent strive to achieve independence through their beliefs and behaviors of their peers. It is, therefore, important to integrate the nutrition learning to the adolescent as it places them in a better opportunity to make the right decision of their meals (Croll, Neumark-Sztainer & Story, 2001). The learning aims at bringing up new habits of eating that cannot be effe1ctive without the motivation of the large group. This means that the nutrition educators come up with the best course of training that will facilitate the dietary change.

Learning takes place in stages in order to ensure that the whole process is successful. Precontemplation is the initial stage whereby the adolescents are not aware of the change and have no intention of taking no action. The strategy in this stage is to create a supportive strategy for change, assessing their knowledge, beliefs, and attitude as well as discussing their personal aspects (Croll, Neumark-Sztainer & Story, 2001). Step 2 is the contemplation stage where an action is intended to take aiming at increasing motivation in order to form a new behavior. This stage is important as it identifies any problematic behavior, prioritizing of behavior and identifying any change. The third stage is the preparation stage that takes action within 30 days to initiate a change. Strategies such as taking small steps and assistance action plan make it a success (Croll, Neumark-Sztainer & Story, 2001). The fourth step is the action for the obvious behaviors in order to commit a change. It is achieved through reinforcement of the decision, self-confidence, self-monitoring, and problem-solving.  The last step of training is to maintain the behaviors adopted through plans of follow-up, constant reminders, and alternative findings to make the whole learning process a success.

Peer education is influential and strong during the stage of the adolescent. This involves them sharing their own experiences and the little knowledge they have. Therefore it is important to have this type of discussion which is supervised by a health profession so that other peers may adopt the health suggestions in their personal lifestyles. Peers education also overcomes barriers of communication as they are able to use the concept that is best known to them (Croll, Neumark-Sztainer & Story, 2001). Group education should be interactive and in small groups so that they can be effective. In order to create a pattern of healthy eating the education, the process should aim at the long-term goal that can be achieved through the use of active voice, common language, and terminologies, being specific and the provision of illustrative examples will play a major role in the nutrition education.

Unknown words

In order to arrive at my decision, I have used the strategy of reading the whole sentence which at the end of it there is that sense of some meaning. I have also checked and analyzed what the word could mean with my personal understanding replacing it in the sentence thus giving a meaningful idea.

































Cause                                                                                                 Effects

Dietary change in adolescent                                                  Proper eating behaviors




Nutrition education                                                                 Healthy food choices













Croll J, Neumark-Sztainer D, Story M. (2001) Healthy eating: what does it mean to adolescents? J Nutr Educ; 33:193-198.




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