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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
If the parents are overweight they might feed the child with the same types and amounts of food that they eat, then the child would most likely become overweight too. Of course it could go the other way, if the parents spend all their money on themselves, or on alcohol/drugs- then the child would not get fed properly at home because of the lack of money, but also follow patterns of behaviour from their parents, and might start drinking or taking drugs at a young age – which could cause liver damage. Also the parents could have an eating disorder, which would encourage the child not to eat properly and may become malnourished.
Children tend to run around a lot, and have a lot of energy, and are encouraged to do this – so they get a lot of exercise, which is good because they are burning off all the food that they eat so they will not become overweight. Advertising plays a big part in children’s diets. ‘McDonalds’ provides a free toy with a happy meal, which is a meal for a child – this will encourage the children to buy food at McDonalds, which is very unhealthy as it is mainly chips and burgers that they sell, even the salad that they sell is unhealthy because of all the high fat dressing they put on it.
The food is unhealthy ay McDonalds because of all the saturated fats that are in the food that are difficult for the body to break down, and when they get stored in the body a person is likely to gain weight. There are adverts in between children’s programs on the television. But there are not adverts to eat apples and wholegrain etc, there are adverts for products like crisps, sweets and chocolates etc. These adverts are placed there by huge cooperation’s trying to sell their products to their target audience which is children – and unfortunately these companies sell unhealthy food.
If healthy food was advertised the Government would have to pay for it, and I do not think they are prepared to do this. School children When children reach five, they start to express what food they prefer, so it becomes very important that a good healthy diet is kept to so they get used to it. Peer pressure is very important once a child starts school – who the child socialises with, may affect what they eat. If they socialise with a group of people who are aware of good things to eat, and do sports at lunchtime and join extra curricular sport groups at school, then the child will establish very good eating habits and good exercise too.
But if the child socialises with people who eat junk food, for example chip shop chips, and they do not do any exercise and forge notes from their parents to get out of doing physical education, then the child is likely to develop unhealthy eating and not do very much exercise. This could result in the child keeping these habits until they are older, and they could become obese which could be a risk to their health. School meals have recently been changed by a celebrity chef called Jamie Oliver. He made school dinners more healthy for the children.
But these dinners are now more expensive, because food that is better for you costs more. Fortunately for families on income support, the government provides free school dinners for the children, with a dinner ticket. I remember when I was at junior school, they did lots of food like chips and dinosaur shaped turkey burgers, but they did not do anything for vegetarians and they did not have any salad or fruit etc. When I was at senior school I got a dinner ticket, which was not worth enough to get a proper meal (for example potato, meat and vegetable) and a desert and a drink.
All the children when I was at senior school would eat chips covered in salt, and drink fizzy drinks. From the Education Act 1980, there is no obligation for schools to provide food with a set nutritional standard. At this age when a child is attending school, it is important that they limit their intake of sugar and fat – because the sugar could rot their teeth, also because fat is difficult for the body to break down and the child could end up obese. The number of overweight children has risen steadily over the last twenty years in the United Kingdom. This causes lots of health risks, usually seen as they grow into adulthood.
The health risks include coronary blocked arteries (arteries in the heart being blocked) high blood pressure and type two diabetes. These risks mean that the person could have a heart attack or stroke and get bowel cancer. There are also psychological factors as well, that are the child may have low self esteem where they get teased by their peers for being obese, and being bullied could lead to feeling isolated and depressed. Physical education is compulsory in school, which should help keep obesity down and promote health. Physical education also helps young individuals find out what sports they like.
If young people find out what sports they like, they can continue with it through their life and this will keep their exercise levels up. Some children may have a lack of information about healthy food, the educational system may not teach them properly about healthy eating, so by them not knowing they would maybe eat food that is bad for their health without knowing it. Not all children attend school, some are home tutored or are out of school for a long amount of time, unless their family teaches them about healthy eating they will probably not find out what foods are healthy and that you need to exercise.
So with a lack of understanding about what foods to eat the child may become obese or malnourished, and may put their health at risk. Adolescents Adolescents are at a period of rapid growth, girls have a growth spurt between the ages of ten and thirteen, and boys have a growth spurt between the ages of twelve and fifteen. During this time their height and weight increases, as well as nearly every organ in the body growing. The need for energy and nutrients is increased during this time in their life.
Boys have a greater growth spurt than girls, meaning that they need more energy and protein than girls. Adolescents tend to snack in between meals to obtain extra energy, these snacks are usually things like: crisps, cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates and cream cakes. Too much of these snacks could lead to tooth decay, obesity and an increased risk of diseases like heart disease and some cancers. The snacking habits that an adolescent develops at this time, can often stay with them throughout their whole life, which would mean as an adult they may get tooth decay or become obese.
To stop this form happening, adolescents should be encouraged to moderate their snacking, or eat snacks with less sugar and fat, for example, a cereal bar or piece of fruit. Adolescents need lots of calcium in their diet to help their bones grow and mineralise them. Boys need 1000mg of calcium per day, and girls need 800mg per day. If girls do not receive the right amount of calcium in their diet, then they are at risk of getting osteoporosis later in their life, which is a brittle bone disease. Adolescents also need lots of iron in their diet, iron helps transport oxygen around the blood.
A lack of iron could cause fatigue, feeling faint or anaemia. Girls especially need iron, because when they start menstruating they lose blood once a month, and it is thought that 17% of girls suffer form anaemia. Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, so adolescent girls should have a glass of orange juice with food they eat containing iron. The media plays a big part in adolescent’s intake of food, especially magazines and models. It is thought that to be thin is to be beautiful, and more accepted in society. As adolescents are trying to find their identity, they look up to role models, and want to be accepted the best that they can.
But women on the television, in magazines etc are thinner than a human should be to be healthy, the organs simply cannot function properly within a body that small. Mainly adolescent girls are influenced by these images on the media; as they want their bodies to be like them. They go to extreme measures to try and lose weight, they may diet, which would not be healthy as they body requires nutrients as it is still growing. In some cases this dieting can become so extreme that is becomes a disorder known as ‘anorexia nervosa’ which is where a person literally starves themselves because they think they are fat.
No disrespect to boys, they also get anorexia, but it is less common. There is also another eating disorder that can develop, known as ‘bulimia nervosa’ which is where a person starves themselves for a long time, then binge eats (eats a lot at once), and after binge eating they purge (vomit). These disorders are very dangerous, and can be fatal, they are psychological disorders. These adolescents must be treated by psychiatric care to get better. Sometimes the habits an adolescent develops with not eating, can continue into their adulthood – and they may be malnourished for years.
Bulimia and anorexia are very dangerous for the body, as the person becomes malnourished. Eating disorders could cause the mind to feel: o Worried o Tired o Inability to concentrate o Irritable o Sleeping badly o General low self esteem, and the idea they are overweight Eating disorders could cause the body to feel: o Irregular heartbeats o Sweating o Dizziness o Faintness o Indigestion o Diarrhoea o Irregular periods, or periods stopping completely Adolescents are at the age where they become aware of themselves more and decide who they are going to become as an adult.
At this age adolescents do lots of experimenting, like alcohol, drugs, art, music, sexual orientation, sexual intercourse etc. All these factors mean that their mind is so busy trying to organise all this new information that they do not have the time to worry about healthy eating. Adolescents tend not to think with a future in their mind, and the consequences of all their actions, they just want to experience everything now and the more extreme the experience the better. These factors all contribute to hoe healthy adolescents eat.
If an adolescent was taking drugs, they may not want to eat, or get the ‘munchies’ and eat lots of sugary food. If they are drinking lots of alcohol they may vomit up a lot of what they eat, so their body is not getting the nutrients. Just in general, adolescent’s main concern does not tend to be eating healthily and caring for their body, so they may become malnourished or obese. Older people The requirements gradually decrease from the age of fifty in women, and sixty in men, people typically become less active at this time in their life.
The need for protein increases slightly for women, but decreases in men. The needs for vitamins and minerals do not change. Except when women have gone thorough their menopause and do not get their menstrual cycle anymore, they no longer need as much iron. Generally people do not need to eat as much food for energy, but they tend to eat the same meals and do less exercise – this is why a lot of older people put on weight. It is still important for older people to eat a healthy diet, and they should also keep active.
If they participate in gentle exercise, for example going for a walk, they should keep their appetite. Some older people have a decline in mobility and find it more difficult to move around because of their physical health, so it is very difficult for some people to remain active. Many older people do not eat very much, and have diets that are deficient in vitamin D and iron. It is likely they could be deficient in vitamin D because they do not go outside as much as they used to, and do not get as much sunshine. It is exposure to the sun which gives us our vitamin D.
A guideline for older people to eat healthily is: o Eat small, regular meals o Make sure the food has the required nutrients o Eat in a well lit/sunny place (for the vitamin D and for general happiness) o Make food that looks nice to eat (for appetite) o Socialise whilst eating – eat with family and friends o Make the clearing up after the meal easy o Have gentle exercise before a meal to work up an appetite If older people do not get a lot of money with their pension, they may not be able to afford a lot of food. They also cannot carry a lot of food, so this may limit what they buy.
If an older person cannot afford expensive food, they may buy unhealthy food, as unhealthy food is cheaper. If older people do not have many friends or family around them, because they have died or they have lost contact with them, then they may feel very lonely – and they may not want to eat, or they may eat more, snacking often to try and cover up the loneliness. Unfortunately older people get ill, their bodies are decreased gradually, some illnesses could mean that they do not want to eat, or they can not stand up to cook, or if they have dementia they may forget to eat.
If an older person cannot cook because of an illness as they cannot stand up long enough to cook it, they may eat microwave meals which are not very nutritious. Another physical downside to getting older is the senses become less sensitive, meaning older people cannot taste as well as they used to, it they cannot even taste their favourite meal, they will not want to eat because it has lost the pleasure it used to have. An older person may have to wear dentures, because all their teeth have rotted away, dentures can be painful and difficult to eat with.
If an older person finds it difficult to chew, they will have to eat all soft food – which will limit their choice of food, and they may get bored with what they are eating and not bother to eat. If an older person is in good physical health, they still might not be active enough. They are unlikely to go to the gym, because they may feel self-conscious as it is mainly a youthful thing. If an older person has diabetes, they must remember they cannot eat too much sugar and they must have their insulin injections.
A nurse may come to their house to check their blood sugar level and to give them their insulin injection. But if a nurse does not come, it is up to the older person to remember. The memory tends to fail as one gets older, so they forget if they have done it or not. Also the older person may have dementia which might make them forget that they have diabetes, which would be a serious risk to their health. If an older person is living in a care home, they have social interaction, and food containing all the nutrients.
But it is very expensive to live in a care home, some older people (or their families) may not be able to afford it, so they would have to try and look after themselves at home, when they are not really capable. Distinction evaluate the relative importance of different factors affecting the nutritional health and well-being of two different groups of individuals. Evaluate means to estimate or weigh up which factors have the greatest and least importance. Eg: evaluate which of the following factors; cost, education, the role of health professionals or lifestyle has the greatest effect on two population group’s health.
These population groups for comparison could be a family and older people I am going to look at the two population groups: children/adolescents, and the elderly. I am going to evaluate the importance of different factors influencing these two population groups nutritional health and well being. The media affects adolescents more than the elderly – adolescents are more concerned with their self-image, they read magazines which portray that to be beautiful you must be thin. An adolescent is likely to take this on board, and either do diets recommended in the magazines, or not eat much etc.
But if an elderly person read this magazine, they would be wise to the fact that you do not have to be thin to be beautiful, and they have had many years to accept the way their body is. The media can also affect adolescents because of models, who are mostly very thin. This emphasises in their mind, the idea that you must be thin to be beautiful. This thought pattern tends to affect females more than males, but can affect males too. If an elderly person was to see a thin model, they would probably be affected in a different way – they would not want to be thin, they may wonder what society is coming to that people do not eat healthily.
Some adolescents develop ‘anorexia nervosa’ or ‘bulimia nervosa’ which are eating disorders, where they have extreme weight loss. Elderly people do not have anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, which shows that the media must affect adolescents more than the elderly. Cost affects the elderly more than children and young people, I think this is because the elderly have to pay for everything themselves, whereas children and young people are dependants and do not have to buy everything themselves.
Although it depends on the income of the family of the child or young person is from, if the income is high or comfortable then they would need not to worry about money ever. If this was the case, then they could have whatever food they want, maybe go out for meals and not think anything of the cost. But if the child or young person came from a family with low income, they may be more aware of the cost of things and the family may not be able to afford nutritious food.
For example, when I was young I was living with just my mother and she was on income support, we did not ever eat fresh food we mostly ate frozen food industry. For elderly people, cost may be a bigger issue. They get a pension, which may not be very much money, if it is not very much money then elderly people are not likely to eat healthily because they can not afford to. Neither age concerned with healthy lifestyle. Youth – drugs/alcohol/experiences. Elderly – they can eat properly to prevent disease, but they do not have to look after their body for the next 50 years anymore.
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