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Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.


The developed world are countries with a high standard of living, with high technology and economies, these include countries like the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Factors that influence what food people chose in the developed world include age, gender, lifestyle, family and cultural background, education and where they live. People’s food preferences tend to change when they are exposed to new people, places and situations – otherwise they stick to the food and patterns that they know. Depending where a person lived, there could be a large choice of food or very little.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.


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A large choice of food could be if someone lived in a town, close by a supermarket, a small choice of food could be someone that lived in a farm or out in the country. Food is imported in developed countries, from all round the world – so there is lots of exotic food that only grows in hot climates. Therefore people in developed countries have lots of choice of food, because people do not have to grow the food to feed themselves, they go to the supermarket and choose it, during all seasons. With this large choice in food, people are more likely to have access to all the nutrients they need.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.


There is a very large choice in food available for people, at most hours during the day, for example: take away. This means that people have access to all kinds of food at all hours during the day and night, meaning that individuals have the choice what to eat and when, so it is important that are eating the correct nutrients. With supermarkets, there is large production of the food coming into the country – so it is not very expensive. There are lots of outlets where food is available from like fast food restaurants, ‘Tesco’ and ‘Adsa’ etc. Parental choice and culture may limit the food choice, as people may not want to try new things.

Pre-school children are willing to try new foods, when children start school they are more influenced by their peers. Parents should encourage their children to try as may food varieties as possible so they have a wide choice of food in their diet, and it should be kept as healthy as possible. Education is compulsory and free in the developed world, and the educational system is designed to help maintain good dietary practice. These educational programmes should be used towards all people, including vegetarians, vegans, people with religious ideologies and allergies.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

These programmes should also include all social groups, “i. . the better-educated, middle class, professional people” (stretch et al p445) Early habits created by family life are difficult to break, for example if we eat food that is bad for us when we are younger and our families allow this – when we learn as an adult that it is bad for us, we may wish to give it up, which may be difficult because we like it so much and are set in a routine of if being in our life. These bad foods could be chocolate, which tastes very nice, but is very high is sugar which could rot our teeth or make us put on weight – but the taste and sugar may be difficult to give up.

Supermarkets and major food companies are now trying to encourage healthy eating, but introducing ‘low fat’ products, as well as ‘low sugar’, ‘low calories’ and including all the -nutritional information on the packet. The newest way of helping people be aware of what they are eating is there is a colour-coded wheel on the front of products, showing the amount of fat, saturated fats, salt, sugar and calories in the product (see picture on the left) The green colours means is it healthy, the orange colours means it in in-between and red means it is unhealthy.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

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Foods sold in the developed world in supermarkets that are more healthy, especially organic or fair-trade are very expensive. Members of society who do not receive as much income as others, will not be able to afford these foods and therefore will be ‘forced’ to eat unhealthy food, or eat healthy food but not get enough for their body – which would leave them malnourished. The Government white paper ‘saving lives’ (1997) says that healthy food should be more available and affordable to people with less money.

The Government could help with these issues, such as raising the minimum wage, making sure people are being paid equally, helping lower the amount of unemployment and bad housing. All these factors that are under the control of the Government all influence dietary habits, and contribute to poor health. The population of developing countries has been rising faster than the production of food. People are not educated enough/early enough about sexual education, so a lot of people are not aware of contraceptives – which means a lots of people get pregnant without meaning to, resulting in the population rising.

The United Kingdom currently has the highest amount of teenage pregnancies in Europe. So the education system needs to be improved to make more people aware of sexual contraception and health in general. In Holland there is a very explicit version of sexual education introduced at an early age, this actually manages to keep the amount of teenage pregnancies down to the lowest in Europe. Developed countries have plenty of clean, fresh water enriched with minerals, this water is safe and clean at all times. It is estimated that 250,000 people die per year from diseases in the water in under-developed countries.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

People in developed countries take for granted their access to water, but it does keep down disease. There have been recent advances in bio-technology in the developing world, which have led to new and improved food products. There are now different ways of preserving foods, for example: fast freezing, freeze-drying which result in longer shelf life for the food. The food no longer needs to be eaten as soon as it has been harvested, so foods can now be contained safely and exported all over the world, so food can now be available to a wider population over an extended period of the year.

Altering food by genetic engineering has contributed to drug-resistant and pest-resistant foods. So a farmer may grow fields of crops, without worrying about them becoming contaminated because of chemicals they have on them to deter anything getting to the food that is inedible for humans. Organic food that is available in the supermarkets is food that is grown naturally, that has not had any chemicals sprayed on it – some people prefer to buy these foods, as they believe they are healthier and more natural. Free range eggs, are eggs that have come from chickens that can run free in a natural open space, eating natural food.

Non free range eggs are eggs where the chickens are kept in small enclosures in cramped conditions, and are fed processed foods. All these are advances of the developed world. Genetic engineered food can produce a lot more food a lot more quickly, so it can keep up with the demands of the rising populations in the developing world. There is lots of media influence on the developed world, for example: size zero debate. So people in the developing world, may be more likely to be malnourished if they are influenced by the media, and do not eat properly to try and stay thin.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

Unhealthy snacks are widely available in the developed world, in all supermarkets, corner shops, rest stations on motorways, vending machines etc. These snacks include things like chocolate bars and crisps, which have become more available than they used to be. Eating too many snacks like these could lead to people getting tooth decay form sugar, becoming obese or becoming more at risk of heart disease/some cancers/stroke/low self esteem etc. There are lots of gyms available to go to in the developed world, but they are very expensive. For example I know the gym ‘Esporta’ charges i??50 a month student discount!

So even though the gym helps to encourage people to exercise and live an active lifestyle, it is too expensive for many people. There is also all the guilt from the media that adds to people’s desire to exercise, in nearly all women’s magazines there will be diet plans to lose weight. The occupations people have in the developed world do not tend to be physical labour, they are mostly office jobs, or driving jobs. These jobs do not help people to live an active lifestyle, as they are sitting down all day, which means they are jot getting any cardiovascular exercise, or using their muscles etc.

They may also get bored sitting down all day and snack more, meaning that people in these situations are more likely to become overweight, which puts ones health at risk. There is lots of transport available in the developed world, so people do not get a lot of exercise, because of the convenience of using public transport. It is a choice to walk, the majority of people get on a bus. Especially because the government has introduced older people, children under sixteen and people with disabilities all get the bus for free.

In the developed world there is cosmetic and plastic surgery available. So if people do live an unhealthy lifestyle, and end up with rotten teeth, or really obese – they can pay thousands of pounds to get it corrected and make them look like a model if the so desired. Which would encourage people to live an unhealthy lifestyle because they know that they always have the option to have surgery. There is a high emphasis on food hygiene in the developed world, there is little food hygiene in the less developed world – and it is one of the main reasons for the spread of disease.

Especially in restaurants, they have to have special hygiene and health checks regularly, if they do not meet the standards their business can get shut down. If you were to get food poisoning from a restaurant then you could sue them as it is very important to look after people’s health in a restaurant. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers Pregnant mothers The diet of the mother influences the baby a lot, before pregnancy it is important that the mother has a healthy body before pregnancy, and for her body to be a healthy weight.

If the mother is underweight it is more difficult for her to conceive. If a woman has anorexia, her periods can stop completely which may make her unable to have children until she is a healthy weight again. If a woman becomes pregnant when she is underweight, it is more likely that the child will have a low birth weight. If the woman is overweight before pregnancy this can also be a risk to the baby because it increases the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy. When pregnant the mother must provide enough nutrients for her needs and the baby’s.

If she gains weight during this time, her blood pressure could rise, putting both lives at risk. It is also important that the pregnant mother does not starve herself or go on a diet. It is very important for the pregnant woman to eat protein because new cells and tissues are being made to create the baby, it is also important that she eats foods containing amino acids. Women in the early stages of pregnancy or planning pregnancy, that they take a good supply of folic acid which is one of the B vitamins.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

Folic acid is important for the development of the baby’s organs and tissues, and also reduces the risk of spinal defect for example spina bifida. The Department of Health recommends that women planning to become pregnant take 400mg of folic acid supplements daily, and they recommend that they take these supplements until the twelve week of pregnancy. Pregnant women need to eat lots of food with vitamin A in, which is essential for good health, but it is important not to eat too much food with vitamin A because having a lot during early pregnancy could cause birth defects.

If later during her pregnancy the mother does not eat a lot and is not storing much fat, the baby grows more slowly inside her, which may increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure later in the baby’s life. Some pregnant women develop a lack of iron: anaemia during pregnancy because the baby takes all the nutrients from the mother, so the mother may be prescribed iron supplements during this time. An iron deficiency during pregnancy could lead to the baby having a low weight when born, and have a chance of the baby developing a deficiency in iron within the first five years of life.

If the pregnant mother consumes a lot of caffeine, it reduces the absorption of iron, and can reduce the flow of blood through the placenta, and may “contribute to the risk of spontaneous abortion” (Stretch et al, p464). So it is advised that pregnant women drink two cups of coffee per day or less, four or less soft drinks containing caffeine (red bull/coca cola), and they should have less caffeine from tea. Some research suggests that caffeine and alcohol should be avoided completely during pregnancy.

Some of the foods that pregnant women are advised to avoid are: o Soft boiled eggs o Any raw eggs (mayonnaise) o Soft-whipped cream o Coleslaw and pre-prepared salad o Undercooked meat o Liver or pate o Un-pasteurised soft cheese made form sheep/goats milk Some safety tips for pregnant women: o Wash all salad/vegetables/fruit o Always wash hands with soap o Ensure fridge is below 5? c o Ensure freezer is below -18? c o Do not reheat food more than once o Make sure food does not contaminate each other in the fridge

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By these lists we can see there are very strict dietary habits for pregnant women to follow, but over years and through research things have been found that affect pregnancy, so it is advised that pregnant mothers take these precautions, for her health and more importantly for the baby’s. The pregnant mother may think that she is eating for two, so she may eat twice the amount she would usually eat. But this is not true, she only needs to eat more than she usually would in the last three months of pregnancy.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

If she eats too much, she could end up being overweight, putting both her and the baby’s health at risk. If the pregnant mother has morning sickness as the beginning of her pregnancy, then she may vomit some of the nutrients she needs to help the baby grow. The pregnant mother may not get enough exercise, because she may feel like she shouldn’t move around vigorously because it may harm the baby. If she does not get enough exercise then she may become overweight or start to store too much fat.

The media still affects women who are pregnant, and as the image is to be thin and beautiful, the mother may feel that she is ugly because she put on lots of weight during the pregnancy, and has lots of water retention (at ankles etc) which may make her feel unattractive about how her body has changed. Also after she has given birth, her body may not return to the original shape, and even though she has produced a ‘miracle’ by producing life, she may be unhappy with the changes of her body. She would no linger be able to wear small tops as her stomach would probably have stretch marks on it.

If the pregnant mother is a vegetarian, vegan or has any religious beliefs that mean she cannot eat meat, then she must ensure that she gets protein in her diet for the growing baby inside her. Meat contains a lot of protein, so she must find other food with sufficient amounts of protein in for her and the baby. Or she may have to go against her beliefs and eat meat for the sake of good health for the baby. If the pregnant mother does not have very much money, she may be able to follow a doctor’s diet and eat all the required nutrients for the baby and her.

If she does not eat all the required nutrients then the baby may be born at a low weight, or be at risk of diseases. Breastfeeding mothers During pregnancy the baby gets all the required nutrients through the placenta, once the baby has been born it now gets its nutrients from breast milk. If the mother cannot breast feed then they get their nutrients from formula milk. During pregnancy hormones stimulate the breasts to grow and get ready for breast feeding. A breast feeding mother requires extra energy and nutrients.

During lactation there is an increased need for energy, protein, all vitamins except B6, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium. So the mother must ensure she is getting all these nutritional requirements in her diet, so the baby gets all the nutrients it needs. In the first three days after birth colostrums, a special form of breast milk is produced, this contains less fat and more protein than the milk later produced by the breasts. The breast milk provides all the nutrients the baby needs for growth and development, wouldn’t it be good if there was something like breast milk we could drink for our whole life?

But then there wouldn’t be the excitement and variety of food. Nutritional needs for a breastfeeding mother, are not that different than that of a pregnant mother. She no longer needs an increased intake of iron or folic acid. It is important that the breastfeeding mother does not restrict her energy intake too much, as this will cause the milk production to slow. Each time the mother breastfeeds her baby she should drink fluids, as this will increase the production of milk. Most of the substances that the breastfeeding mother puts into her body are secreted through the milk, so she should avoid alcohol and caffeine.

A breastfeeding mother will continue to produce milk until the baby slowly has less and less, then the milk production will stop. If the baby had the same amount of breast milk as when it is first born, then the milk will carry on being produced because it is being used in large amounts often. Children and young people Children and young people requirements Children between one and three are growing rapidly, they need more vitamins and minerals except vitamin D and zinc. Children between the ages of one and three do not need as much calcium, phosphorus or iron as an infant.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

Children between the ages of four and six require more energy than before. As a child becomes at the ages of seven to ten they need more energy still, as well as protein. In general the need for vitamins and minerals increases, except vitamin D and C, and the mineral iron. Between the ages of eleven and fourteen the body needs for energy and protein increase by 50%. Pre-school children Children at the age they go to pre-school (two and a half to five) have high energy requirements, but they have small stomachs – so they cannot eat large quantities.

These children need to eat small meals often, which are high in energy and rich in nutrients. It is important that they eat protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A and D. They need protein for the re-growth and repair of cells, which is especially important because their bodies are growing. They need calcium for healthy bones and teeth – this is very important because calcium does not have much of an affect on adult teeth, it is when the teeth are forming that calcium is important to make them strong. Vitamin A and D are important for the development of straight bones, and to prevent Rickets.

Rickets is a disease where bones get soft and can break more easily, most common in children. Vitamin D children use to help them absorb calcium. Children under five years are recommended to drink whole milk, rather than semi-skimmed, because whole milk provides the child with enough energy and vitamin D. Children under five whose parents receive income support get milk tokens for their children, this is under the ‘Welfare food scheme’ When children are very young it is important for them to go to pre-school, because they get fed healthily whilst they are there.

If they have any allergies the pre-school are aware of them, and they are also aware of what to look out for any developing allergies. It is very hygienic in a pre-school environment, especially to do with food – because children that young cannot as easily fight off infections and would react badly to food poisoning at such a young age. Children also get a chance to develop good social skills at pre-school, socialising is important to peoples eating habits, as people never cook a complicated expensive meal just for themselves.

Young children would be influenced by the colour, taste and shape of food. In supermarkets there are products shaped designed to attract children. They have dinosaur turkey burgers, smiley face potatoes, teddy bear shaped processed meat, ‘Spiderman’ spaghetti shapes etc. These are all trying to attract children, and try to get the children to eat a balanced diet. Children are more likely to be attracted to colourful food also, sweets are very colourful, for example ‘smarties’ and ‘haribo’.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

Children love sweets, and this is one of the factors contributing to why they like them so much. If food at the dinner table was all bright colours children would be more likely to eat it. Children are also more likely to eat food if they like the taste of it. Sweets again are very tasty and full of sugar. They are attracted because it tastes good, but also because of the sugar – sugar gives the body quick bursts of energy, but then slows down and needs more, so the person would eat more sugar for their body’s energy.

The body actually needs starch carbohydrates rather than sugar, because these give the body more energy for a longer amount of time. Sweets are also bad because of the colourings in them and they have artificial flavourings and E numbers – that can make children hyperactive. If children’s parents eat a certain way they are more than likely to pass this on to their children. If the parents did not have a lot of money, then they would not be able to afford expensive or nutritious food. Nutritious food does tend to be more expensive to buy than food that is bad for you.

If the parents are religious then they might not eat certain meats or they might fast (starve themselves for a certain amount of time) If the child does not eat meat, then they might not get enough protein that they need in their diet, they need protein to help their body grow and repair itself. If the religious parents encourage their children to participate in fasting, then the child going without food for a long time would be bad because they need nutrients to help their body grow. If the parents are vegetarian, then the same applies with the not eating meat for religious reasons.Factors affecting nutritional health in 4 groups in society Essay.

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