Nutrition and Health worksheet Summary

Use Ch. 1 of Contemporary Nutrition, Ch. 2 of Visualizing Nutrition, supplemental course materials, the University Library, the Internet, or other resources to answer the following questions. Your response to each question should be 75 to 100 words.

1. What is nutrition? Why is nutrition essential to our daily lives? Nutrition the science that links food to health and disease the science of nutrition studies several processes or systems by which human organisms ingest, digest, absorb, transport, and excrete food substances essential to human life (Wardlaw, & Smith, 2011).

Nutrition is essential to human organisms daily lives because it is the system that supplies nutrients/chemical substances in food to cells and other chemical processes within the body. Humans ingest the food and the cells collect nutrients from food and provide the elements necessary to regulate and provide energy and nutrients are vital to cell reproduction, growth, and maintenance (Wardlaw, & Smith, 2011).

2. What is the connection between nutrition and health? The human consumption of food/nutrients has a significant effect on how healthy the body is consuming either too many or too little of one or more nutrients can result in low energy levels and malnutrition which can have immediate as well as lasting results on health. Nutrition is also an important part of the human immune system without the proper nutrition it is difficult for the human body to defend itself from disease, bacteria, and other foreign microorganisms (Grosvenor, & Smolin, 2012).

3. What are the six classes of nutrients? What are essential nutrients? What are the sources of nutrients? What do nutrients do? The six classes of nutrients are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water (Wardlaw, & Smith, p.7, 2011). There are three characteristic of an essential nutrient; 1) at least one specific biological function of thenutrients in the body must be identified. 2) Omission of the nutrient from the diet must lead to decline in certain biological functions. 3) Replacing the omitted nutrient in the diet before permanent damage occurs will restore normal biological functions (Wardlaw, & Smith, p.5, 2011). Nutrients come from food, fortified foods, and dietary supplements. Nutrients provide the body with energy, contribute to the structure of the body, and regulate biological processes (Grosvenor, & Smolin, 2012).

4. How do vitamins and minerals work? Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that perform many different functions in the body. One of the main functions of vitamins and minerals is to support chemical reactions one of these reactions is to help release the energy trapped in carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Others include processes, repairing cells, building bone tissue, blood production, and sustaining the immune system. Vitamins and minerals are not sources of energy themselves but work like keys sometimes together within the body to unlock the energy stored within food.

5. What does it mean to eat a balanced diet? Why is food choice important for good nutrition? To eat a balanced diet means ingesting the proper amount of calories in a variety of foods.

This supplies nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues and organs. A balanced diet also supports the proper growth and development. Food choice is important for good nutrition because not all foods can contain every nutrient needed to support a healthy body. Variety, quality, and proper quantity are important in ensuring that the body is supplied with the right nutrients to meet energy needs, support proper growth, development, maintenance, and to keep body functions running smoothly (Wardlaw, & Smith, 2011).

6. What is undernutrition? What is overnutrition? Undernutrition is inadequate intake of the proper nutrients to support bodily functions, growth, development, and maintenance. A common form of undernutrition is dehydration. When nutrition needs are not meet the body becomes more vulnerable to illness and disease.

Overnutrition is the excess intake of nutrients and calories. When some nutrients especially vitamins and minerals are consumed in excess they can be deadly. Other nutrients, such as calories that are consumed in excess and not used are stored as fat when this happens too often obesity sets in and the result is poor health and can result in heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. (Wardlaw, & Smith, 2011).

7. Why is physical activity important as it relates to nutrition and health? Physical activity is important as it relates to nutrition and health because physical activity uses energy or burns calories; the amount of calories an individual burns should correspond to their caloric intake. During physical activity carbohydrates are converted to energy to help muscles work and protein is used to build and maintain the muscle tissue. Physical activity and nutrition work together for better health regular physical activity helps to burn off excess calories which when not used are stored as fat (Cottrill, 2011).

8. Where might you find dietary recommendations? What are the recommended dietary allowances (RDA)? What are dietary reference intakes (DRIs)? Dietary recommendations can be found on the website from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) were guidelines set by the Food and Nutrition Board giving instruction on specific amounts of energy and nutrients that people were most likely to omit or neglect in their daily intakes such as protein, iron, calcium, vitamins A & D, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.

The RDAs were based on amounts of these nutrients that would prevent nutrient deficiencies. Dietary reference intakes (DRIs) are recommendations for the amounts of energy, nutrients, and other food components that individuals should consume to stay healthy and reduce the risk of disease due to deficiencies. DRI is the expanded version of the RDAs they have changed because diet and activity levels have changed along with disease patterns these DRIs now address excess as well as deficiencies (Grosvenor, & Smolin, 2012).

9. The United States Department of Agriculture created a diagram titled My Plate. What is this diagram? Why should someone study this diagram? The My plate diagram is an easy to follow graph is the most recent US guideline that divides food into groups based on the nutrients they supply abundantly and illustrates the appropriate portions of foods from each group that make up a healthy diet.

The food groups listed on the My Plate diagram are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. It is important to study this diagram so one is able to choose the right combinations of foods so that individuals are more likely to get the correct nutrient-intake recommendations and to promote health (Grosvenor, & Smolin, 2012).

10. What are some tools for diet planning?

Some tools for diet planning include the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans these are a set of diet and lifestyle regulations designed to promote health and reduce the risk of overweight, obesity, and chronic diseases within the US population. A diagram supplied by the USDA MyPlate illustrates the appropriate portions of foods from each group that make up a healthy diet. Other tools are a daily food plan and food exchange lists and a caloric intake calculator, food labels RDAs or DRIs (Grosvenor, & Smolin, 2012).

11. What is the calorie intake calculator? What factors does this calculator take into account? A calorie intake calculator is a device or program that determines the amount of calories an individual needs to lose, maintain, or gain weight.

A caloric intake calculator takes these factors into account; current weight, desired weight, height, gender, age, and activity level it then calculates the correct amount of calories an individual must consume each day to reach the desired goal weight. It is important the intake does not exceed daily caloric output unless the goal is to gain weight for health reasons.

12. What are some dangers associated with dieting?

Some of the dangers associated with dieting are1) the development of nutritional deficiency in cases of extreme calorie reduction it is difficult to ingest the proper amounts of nutrients each day required for good health. 2) Eating disorders are another concern associated with dieting occasionally an individual can become obsessed with weight loss and tries to lose weight at any cost.

3) Yo-yo- dieting is a concern this is when individuals lose weight then gain back more than previously lost. Some studies show this type of dieting can have very negative effects on an individual’s health.

13. What is the best way to lose weight? Explain your answer and provide at least one source, formatted consistent with APA guidelines, to support your answer.

The best way to lose weight is to do it slowly with a reduced calorie diet and exercise. Losing 1 to 2 pounds a week increases the likelihood the weight will stay off. Some of the important steps to help you be successful are to keep a food journal and count calories. Try to fill up on vegetables and drink plenty of water. Don’t bring tempting foods into your home, stay busy and don’t skip meals (WebMD, 2013)

Reference: WebMD. (2013). Weight loss and diet plans. Retrieved from

14. How does exercise influence body weight?

The human body uses caloric energy to maintain involuntary bodily functions as well as voluntary physical activity. Exercise burns calories when calories are used or burned they are not stored as fat. When there are no readily accessible calories for the body to burn it pulls the energy from food stores (fat within the body) to produce energy. This process reduces fat stores and decreases body weight. The opposite is also true when the human body is inactive calories are not burned but they are stored as fat in the body increasing body weight and mass.

15. Consider your personal dietary habits. What are some modifications you might make to promote good health? Recently I have decreased my daily caloric intake to 1200 to 1400 in order to lose weight. I have increased water consumption and have also varied my food choices more in order to include more nutrients in my diet including more raw foods.

Some modifications I could add to my dietary habits would be to increase my daily activity levels. I have a fairly inactive job and along with the combination of school work it makes for a fairly sedentary lifestyle.

16. How does today’s society affect our nutritional habits?

Today’s society is fast paced and busy so most individuals take advantage of fast food restaurants and convenience foods (prepackaged). Individuals in today’s society are also becoming less active we drive everywhere, and sit in front of computers and televisions more than ever before .Unlike previous generations the majority of jobs in America today do not involve physical activity. Society is busy and individuals have less time for exercise it is easy to make the excuse that we are too busy to eat right and exercise.

Wardlaw, G. M., & Smith, A. M. (2011). Contemporary nutrition (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. (2012). Visualizing nutrition: Everyday choices (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Cottrill, M. (2011) How physical fitness relates to nutrition

WebMD. (2013). Weight loss and diet plans. Retrieved from