Effects of Diet and Exercise on the Human Body

How to Maintain a Healthy Body
How do we maintain a healthy body? To look at this we need to first decide what health means. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”1 If this is the case then having a healthy diet may not mean that we have a healthy body. We also need to take into account that how we look at health has changed dramatically over the years. For example in the 17th Century the major factor of health was things like the bubonic plague due to fleas on rats. Today we have to worry about things like obesity and swine flu. I am going to look at numerous factors which contribute to a healthy body. I am going to look at diet, exercise and social factors, all of which I believe can contribute to maintaining a healthy body.

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Firstly I am going to look at the effects diet has on our body. For humans to survive we need food, however, we need certain types of food and we need to eat a balanced diet to have a healthy body. The foods we should be consuming to have a healthy balanced diet are; proteins, fats and oils, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, fibre and water. We need each of these food groups for a certain reason. For example we need protein to help our body repair itself, we need carbohydrates as these are broken down into simple sugars like glucose which is the primary source of energy for the brain, and we need iron to form red blood cells which carry oxygen round the body. If we eat less or more of these than we require this may cause problems for our body making us unhealthy. It is typically known that a diet high in fruit and vegetables is good for our body, however it is not widely known that if we have a diet lacking in these that it can be very damaging to our body. The WHO estimates that 2.7 million deaths are attributed to a diet low in fruit and vegetables every year2. If we have an unhealthy diet this can cause a number of chronic diseases including: high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cancer2. Each of these diseases can affect a person’s quality of life and also can reduce a person’s life expectancy. If we have an unhealthy diet this can cause many problems both for now and in the future, for example, if we eat too much sugar this can give us tooth decay which means we have an unhealthy mouth, and if we have too much salt then over time this can build up and cause us to have high blood pressure which can be potentially fatal. The WHO classes anyone that is 30% or more overweight to be obese. If we are obese then this can greatly lower our life expectancy and also our quality of life. If someone is overweight they do not have a healthy body and our likely also to not have a healthy mind.
I now want to look at how exercise can help us to maintain a healthy body. There are many benefits of exercise both for our bodies and our mental health. The benefits of exercise on our bodies include; preventing heart disease, can reduce high blood pressure and can prevent diabetes. The benefits of exercise for our mental health include; helping to relieve stress, helping to reduce the symptoms of depression and helping to relieve sleeping problems. If someone is stressed or has had a bad day which has affected their mood then going out for a walk can be very beneficial to them. It has been proven that any aerobic exercise releases a mood altering substance called endorphins. Endorphins have been proven to improve our mood and also reduce levels of stress3.
Now I am going to look at how social factors can affect whether or not we have a healthy body. Social factors include; our social status, area we live, and outside influences. Social factors can play a large role in how we maintain our bodies. In today’s society it can be quite expensive to live healthy, the price of fresh and healthy foods are often more expensive than cheap processed foods. If someone doesn’t have a lot of money and doesn’t earn a lot then they are more likely to go for the cheaper version which is what they can afford. This then affects their health as processed foods tend to have more of the things that are bad for us in them. Also if someone is classed as poor they are more likely to live in an area where there is more pollution and less focus on health. This may have a huge impact on whether they have a healthy body or not.
In conclusion having a healthy body can not be accomplished by merely eating healthy. There are many factors to consider when we are trying to maintain a healthy body. If we want to be healthy then we must take into account what health means; “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.1” Therefore we must have a healthy diet, exercise and make sure that we take care of our mental health. In today’s society it is harder than ever to maintain a healthy body with all the outside influences like drugs and alcohol. However if we want to be healthy then we must at least try to lead a healthy lifestyle and take care of our bodies and minds as we only have one.

Given, P. and Reiss, M. Human Biology and Health Studies, 2nd Edition, (2002), Nelson Thornes LTD, Cheltenham, UK, ISBN 0-17-490060-0
World Health Organisation (WHO), Diet and physical activity: a public health priority, http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/en/
Donnellan, C. (ed) How fit are we? Issues, (2000), Independence Publishers, Cambridge, UK, ISBN 1-86168-120-8
Encyclopedia, Endorphins facts and information, http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/endorphins.aspx
Medical News Today, What is health? What does good health mean?, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999.php


Food Clustering For Diabetes Diet Health And Social Care Essay

The common way for Diabetes Educators to inform diabetes patients of their nutrition therapy is by introducing food substitution. The existing categorization mechanism is not efficiently for classify the food for diabetic patient. Clustering Data Mining (DM) Techniques can be a very useful tool to collect food items with the same elements into groups. This paper looks at the use of K-mean to Cluster food dataset into groups based on food elements using RapidMiner tool .The output from the clustering algorithm will help other recommendation systems software to provide patient with a good recommendation for there diabetes diet.
data mining; diabetes, data set ,K-meant.
1. Introduction
Food and nutrition are a key to have good health. They are important for everyone to maintain a healthy diet especially for diabetic patients who have several limitations. Nutrition therapy is a major solution to prevent, manage and control diabetes by managing the nutrition based on the belief that food provides vital medicine and maintains a good health. Typically, diabetic patients need to avoid additional sugar and fat for finding the substitution from the same food group [4].The effective clustering from the various actual nutrients is needed to apply. The clustering will encourage diabetics to eat the widest possible variety of permitted food to ensure getting the full range of trace elements and other nutrients. This paper is set out as follows. Section 2, introduces some related work of data mining and diabetic diet. Section 3, describes the used data set and summarize the main features that it contains. Data preparation process is presented in Section 4. Section 5, describes the materials and methods used in this study. In Section 6, the conclusion is given.
2. Literature Review
Li et al [1], this study proposed an automated food ontology constructed for diabetes diet care. The methods include generating an ontology skeleton with hierarchical clustering algorithms (HCA)also it is used intersection naming for class naming and instance ranking by granular ranking and positioning .This study based on dataset from food nutrition composition database of the Department Of Health the dataset. Phanich et al [2], proposed Food Recommendation System (FRS) by using food clustering analysis for diabetic patients. The system will recommend the proper substituted
foods in the context of nutrition and food characteristic. They used Self-Organizing Map (SOM) and K-mean clustering for food clustering analysis which is based on the similarity of eight significant nutrients for diabetic patient. This study is based on the dataset “Nutritive values for Thai food” provided by Nutrition Division, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health (Thailand).
3. Dataset Description
This study is based on the dataset provided by The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR)[3].the Values in the database based on the results of laboratory analyses or calculated by using appropriate algorithms, factors, or recipes, as indicated by the source in the Nutrient Data file. Not every food item contains a complete nutrient profile. The used data set is an abbreviated file with fewer nutrients but all the food items was included. The Dataset contains all the food items with nutrients with 7540 records and 52 attributes. Table1, 2 and 3 show data set attributes and their description. In order to check for missing value I used Rapid Miner tool. Table 4 present sample of data set.
4. Data Preparation
The quality of the results of the mining process is directly proportional to the quality of the data. I need first to prepare the data set by applying Data preprocessing strategies. Data preprocessing is an important and critical step in the data mining process, and it has a huge impact on the success of a data mining project. The purpose of data preprocessing is to cleanse the dirty/noise data. Fig. 1 shows the different strategies in the data preprocessing phase. In this study I focused on data cleaning and data reduction.
Figure 1 strategies in data preprocessing
Table 1 description of data set attributes from 1- 24Table 2 description of data set attributes from 25-48
Table 3 description of data set attributes from 49-52
Table 4 Sample of dataset
Data Cleaning
Data cleaning, also called data cleansing or scrubbing, deals with detecting and removing errors and Inconsistencies from data in order to improve the quality of data [6]. The aim of data cleaning is to raise the data quality to a level suitable for the clustering analyses. The Methods used for data cleaning are fill in missing values and eliminate data redundancy.
Missing value:
It is common for the dataset to have fields that contain unknown or missing values. There are a variety of legitimate reasons why this can happen. There are a number of methods for treating records that contain missing values [7]:
1. Omit the incorrect field(s)
2. Omit the entire record that contains the incorrect field(s)
3. Automatically enter/correct the data with default values e.g. select the mean from the range
4. Derive a model to enter/correct the data
5. Replace all values with a global constant
Within this study both missing and unknown data have been set to zero.
Duplicated Records
Duplicate records do not share a common key and/or they contain errors that make duplicate matching a difficult task. Errors are introduced as the result of transcription errors, incomplete information, lack of standard formats, or any combination of these factors [7] . The data set used in this study include data objects that are duplicate. Using RapidMiner to removing duplication .As result from this process the 7540 records decreased to 7139 record.
Data Reduction
Data reduction can be achieved in many ways one way is by selecting features [5], The used data set contains many Irrelevant features that contain almost no useful information for data mining task As [2] I will focus only on eight attributes out of fifty two attributes, as they are important for diabetes diet.
The eight nutrients include:
vitamin E
Vitamin B1(also known as thiamine)
Vitamin C
Data Normalization
Data normalization is one of the preprocessing procedures in data mining, where the attribute data are scaled so as to fall within a small specified range such as -1.0 to 1.0 or 0.0 to 1.0.
Normalization before clustering is specially needed for distance metric, such as Euclidian distance, which are sensitive to differences in the magnitude or scales of the attributes.
The K-Means typically uses Euclidean distance to measure the distortion between a data object and its cluster centroid .However, the clustering results can be greatly affected by differences in scale among the dimension from, which the distances are computed. Data normalization is the linear transformation of data to a specific range. Therefore, it is worthwhile to enhance clustering quality by normalizing the dynamic range of input data objects into specific range [8].in this study I will normalize data to the range of [0, 1] . Figure 2 show the result from the data preprocessing
Figure 2 Result from Preprocessing(Data cleaning , Data Reduction , Data Normalization)
5. Data Analysis Methodology
After data preparation, a second step is using a K-means to cluster food data set. In order to work with optimal k-value as [2] used the Davies-Bouldin index [9] to evaluate the optimal k-value. The k-value is optimal when the related index is smallest. For this study,
I used K=19 since it gives the smallest value.
The final result is the food clusters which foods in the same group provide the approximate amount of the eight nutrients. Data analysis solution RapidMiner was used to analysis the data set and cluster food item. The whole process sequence shown in figure 3.figure 4, 5, 6 shows the final result.
Figure 3 data analysis process
Figure4 food Items clustered into 19 clusters
Figure4 distribution of 8 Nutrients into clusters from (0-12)
Figure4 distribution of 8 Nutrients into clusters from (13-18)
5.1 K-mean Evaluation
a performance based on the number of clusters.
This operation builds a derived index from the number of clusters by using the formula 1 – (k / n) with k number of clusters and n covered examples. It is used for optimizing the coverage of a cluster result in respect to the number of clusters. By applying the K-mean model to this data set the Cluster number index = 0.997 witch indicate a good coverage.

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6. Conclusion
Data mining has been widely used in many health care fields. The Diabetes Diet Care was one of the health problems that data mining play role on it .this experiment are conducted based on USDA National Nutrient dataset. The results demonstrate that K-mean is very effective and it can successfully create food groups that will help in many recommendations systems.

Diet Nutrition Weight

Though the United States is one of the most powerful nations on earth, as far as developing new fields of science and technology, the one area in which America does not dominate nor excel is health. Specifically, America is dying from illness that is related to a diet poor in nutrition. This issue is due in part to society’s ignorance which stems from a lack of unified and reliable scientific information. The different disciplines that study these nutrition related diseases all have a different perspective on how to fix this endemic. This conflict of view causes the people to be mislead on how they should indeed live their dietary lives. If the people of America are to follow the nutritional trends they have set, the future will be doomed by disease and chronic illness. The American people have not been given the appropriate knowledge about the causes of disease and nutritional ways to prevent them. The human body is a miraculous system that once understood, can be the vehicle to gain a better quality of life for the individual and for the nation as a whole.

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Almost a third of young children are obese and many more over weight (Oz, 2003). The number one killer in this country is heart disease and as we will see later heart disease and other chronic illnesses stem from poor nutrition. The majority of adults are overweight and undernourished. Though this country has the resources to provide high quality, nutrition-rich foods, Americans are drawn to unhealthy, refined and processed foods. Across the whole country there is no major difference in the people’s level of health between cities or states. In other , the level of health in America is
Nutrition 2
distributed evenly from city to city. This goes to show that no matter what background or financial class, the American people are eating the same foods that are causing such
drastic effects on their health. This poor nutrition can also cause less productivity at work or school, and hyperactivity and mood swings among children and youth. Poor nutrition can in time push the typical American adult to depression, diabetes and hypertension and increase the risks of death in all ages and ethnic groups whether man or woman (Oz, 2003). “ The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that 300,000 deaths annually are caused by or related to obesity. The incidence of diabetes alone has risen by a third since 1990, and treatment costs one hundred billion a year” (Oz, 2003, 2). This problem affects everyone because of the drastic social and economic tolls it takes on the American people. With a strong dedication towards a movement involving the abolishment of nutritional ignorance through health and science education, the American people can be freed from the war on nutrition-related illness and stop the high number of casualties.
According to Allen Repko (2005), there is a definite need for an interdisciplinary approach to this issue because of its inability to be comprehensively resolved through the use of only one discipline, its complexity, and the large amount of relevance it displays throughout every home in America.
There are many disciplines needed in order to show the necessity for good nutrition and the significance of educating the American people about healthy living.
The disciplines most pertinent to this issue are Biology, Chemistry, and Human Nutrition. Biology is needed because of its perspective on the causes of disease, how
Nutrition 3
they function, and how they affect the body. There are many sub-disciplines within the field of Biology that will be needed to help the reader understand the drastic affects of chronic illness. These sub-groups include Pathology and Physiology. Chemistry is a very useful discipline because it will show the reader the different chemical properties of the elements contributing to good and bad nutrition. Also, upon explaining disease, there is a necessity to understand the natural chemicals the human body uses to perform its functions, and the toxic chemicals synthesized to treat illness. The last discipline, Health Education, is very important in understanding the problem because of its view on illness and its approach to healing America through preventative practices.
There will be diligent studies of literature done on the mechanisms dealing with chronic illness and metabolism. Most research done in the fields of Biology, Chemistry and Human Nutrition will come from methods such as laboratory experiments, data collection, surveys, and personal interviews. There will also be reports on statistical analysis to help strengthen main ideas.
The purpose of this paper is to show the reader how dangerous and destructive the American diet is and how there could be a possibility of changing it. This involves finding the source for misleading the American people. The disciplines will delve into the science of diseases and how they take over the body and introduce all the vital chemicals that the body needs for normal function. Also, the perspectives of how to cure the illness and the actual measures that have been taken will be discussed. Once the perspectives of all the disciplines have been understood, the conflict can be found.
Nutrition 4
Upon realizing the conflict, there can then be an attempt to find areas of common ground and integrate them into a unified and plausible solution.
Before explaining the insights of each discipline on the problem at hand, it is important to understand the severity of the nation’s health risks and the characteristics of the diet that has brought them to this point. The current state of America’s health is not due to a spontaneous sequence of events. In other , due mainly to societal changes in dietary behavior, there has been an influx of weight related illnesses in the U.S. The American diet however, has not always been so detrimental to health. There have been many societal changes that have led to the demand for this diet. Just in the past fifty years the average American family has changed its lifestyle from gathering around the table for home cooked meals to a high-paced lifestyle of grab-and-go eating (personal communication, February 24, 2008). This change in lifestyle, along with others, has contributed to the majority of food industries responding to the new demands by increasing the production of processed, preserved and refined foods. In 1978, only 18 percent of the calories consumed in the average American diet took place away from home and now the amount has reached 36 percent (Oz, 2003). In 2000, Americans ate 110 billion dollars in fast food meals as opposed to the 6 billion dollars worth eaten in 1970 (Robbins, 2003). Not only have people become accustomed to
Nutrition 5
eating this high-calorie and nutrient-deficient food, but many of the store bought foods have also become overly processed and refined to the point of nutrient depletion. Natural sugar for example, is being consumed less due to the increase in High Fructose Corn Syrup production (Forristal, 2001). Sugar used to be extracted naturally from sugar cane but is now replaced by a different type that comes from corn. There is no need to go into each individual food for the majority of foods eaten by the average American have the same nutritional properties. The affects of eating these foods will be discussed in detail later. Forty percent of the calorie intake in the American diet comes from refined sugars and refined grains which have been proven to contribute to poor health (Fuhrman, 2005). These refined substances include high fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose (milk), and fruit juice concentrates. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration makes a relatively close estimate that the average American consumes an unbelievable 32 teaspoons of added sugar a day (Kantor, 1999). Another major factor contributing to the high prevalence of weight related disease is the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle (Berenson, Srinivasan, Nicklas, 1998). The adoption of a sedentary lifestyle has affected almost everyone in the United States (Fuhrman, 2003). This can be attributed to an increase in entertainment that forces the individual to be less physically active (Oz, 2003). These forms of entertainment include video and computer games, movies, television and internet surfing. The internet has provided a whole new way to have access to the world without leaving the comfort of the individuals couch
Nutrition 6
(Fuhrman, 2003). For example, people no longer have to leave their house to do their shopping. Though the main issue is about disease, it is also important to note the other affects of the American diet. Poor nutrition has resulted in less productivity at school or work, increased feelings of anxiety, stress and insecurity, and many more issues concerning quality-of-life. These concerns, though important, are miniscule compared to the paramount dilemma of obesity and its related diseases. Thirty four percent of all Americans are obese and many more over weight (Fuhrman, 2003). Twenty five percent of schoolchildren today are obese (Gauthier, Hicker, Noel, 2000). Obesity not only has been proven to cause many illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and depression, but also to increase death rates in all ages and in almost every gender and ethnic group (Alterwein, 2003). The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that 300,000 deaths per year are caused by or associated with obesity (Bouchard, 1996). The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen by a third since 1990, and the cost for treatment has exceeded 100 billion dollars a year (Oz, 2003). Though there are many more statistics regarding the state of America’s health, enough has already been stated to validate the point that the people of America are in dire need for help.
For the purposes of this paper, there are a few topics and related issues that will be excluded in order to narrow down the focus to the particular issues regarding the main problem. People excluded from the focus are the Americans who have adopted a
Nutrition 7
vegan or vegetarian diet, athletes and other individuals who have been educated in fields of nutrition that take action towards a healthier lifestyle. Genetic factors will not be discussed due to the relatively little amount of information able to prove dietary and nutritional setbacks. Economic and cost related information will not be discussed for the topic at hand is about finding a solution to illness under any means necessary; even if that involves the high cost of healthier foods. When discussing illnesses, only the main weight related diseases will be discussed. These include Type II diabetes, heart attack, hypertension, and colon cancer. The main ideas to be included are directly related to diet and weight. These parameters have been set strictly due to the fact that what Americans are putting into their bodies has a direct correlation with what is causing these catastrophic illnesses.
Now that the truths about our overweight society have been identified, there can be a dissection of the problem by the most relevant disciplines. In order for the reader to understand the issue thoroughly, it is important that the disciplines are introduced in an appropriate sequence. Biology will be the first discipline whose insights will be discussed. It is important to discuss these insights first because they introduce the reader to the main weight related illnesses America faces, and shows how they are caused. Before one can show the treatments and the mechanisms involved on a molecular level, one must understand what is happening on the larger cellular level. Therefore, after illness and its consequences have been discussed from a Biological standpoint, Chemistry’s perspectives will be discussed to show an alternative view. Human Nutrition comes last because its perspective deals mainly with finding certain
Nutrition 8
foods that contain certain helpful or harmful chemicals or elements that will be understood best after reading the Chemistry section. In other , before finding out what foods are high in fiber or low in cholesterol, it is important to see first what those compounds are and how they affect the body.
The main goal of the paper is to discuss illness, perspectives on treatment and insights on dietary nutrition in order to provide a solution to the problem of a malnourished and nutritionally uneducated society that is looking for answers which, until now, have not been effectively provided. This lack of answers is due to these disciplines becoming too focused and too specialized in their particular field. When this narrowed view is encompassed by such a wide array of disciplines, it is almost impossible and definitely improbable that a practical and generic solution can be created to ensure a healing process for a physically unhealthy society. In other , this paper will use an interdisciplinary approach in order to educate the reader on the contrasting insights of the disciplines, and to integrate these insights into a practical, comprehensive, and unified solution (Repko, 2005).
Oz, Mehmet C. (2003). [Forward]. In Eat to Live (pp. ix-xi). New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Repko, A. (2005). Interdisciplinary practice: A student guide to research and writing. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.
Fuhrman, J. (2003). Eat to Live. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Robbins, J. (2003). [Introduction]. In Eat to Live. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Forristal, L. (Fall 2001). The Murky World of High-Fructose Corn Syrup. The Weston A. Price Foundation. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from http://www.westonaprice.org/motherlinda/cornsyrup.html.
Alterwein, R. (2003). [Introduction]. In Eat to Live. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Kantor, L.S. (1999). A dietary assessment of the U.S. food supply. Nutrition Week 29 (3): 4-5.
Berenson G.S., Srinivasan S.R., Nicklas T.A. (1998). Atheriosclerosis: a nutritional disease of childhood. American Journal of Cardiology. 82 (10B): 22-29T
Gauthier, B.M., Hicker, J.M., Noel, M.N. (2000). High prevelance of overweight children in Michigan primary care practices. J. Family Practice 49 (1): 73-76.
Bouchard, C. (1996). The causes of obesity: advances in molecular biology but stagnation on the genetic front. Biabetologia 39 (12): 1532-33.

Diet and Nutrition Case Study

Diet and Digestion
TAQ 1)


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


2 Whole grain waffles (35 grams each) 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 sliced banana
500ml water

Porridge Oats (45 grams) with 300ml of semi skimmed milk
1 Orange
500ml of water/fruit squash

2 slices of wholegrain bread/toast with peanut butter spread
1 yoghurt drink
1 sliced banana
500ml water/fruit squash


1 Vanilla yoghurt
Dried apricot (20 grams)

1 fruit scone
With low fat margarine spread

1 slice of fruit malt loaf


2 slices of vegetable pizza
Tossed salad
1 diced melon
500ml water

Lamb steak (150 grams) with watercress salad
1 baked potato
500 ml water/fruit squash

Durum wheat pasta (100 grams)
cottage cheese (20 grams)
Small bunch of grapes


Peanuts (20 grams)
Raisins (20 grams)

1 slice of gingerbread

Carrot sticks and hummus dip


Sirloin steak (Grilled 140 grams)
Half baked potato
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon of low fat sour cream
1 steamed zucchini
Skimmed milk (250 ml)

Steamed salmon fillet (150 grams)
Pine nuts (20 grams)
Sweet potato mash (150 grams)
Steamed Broccoli (40 grams)

Roast Chicken fillet steak (150 grams)
Brown rice (150 grams)
Broccoli (20 grams)
Carrots (20 grams

3 day meal plan for pregnant mother
This meal plan for an expectant mother was designed as firstly the calorie intake required daily is increased to supply the placenta and growing baby the required energy to grow healthily. An estimated 300 more calories in the second and third trimesters. I have chosen foods high in iron and folic acid as these are needed in abundance by both mother and baby. A pregnant woman needs 60mg of protein and 1200mg of calcium I have sought to incorporate this through lean servings of meat and fish daily as well as porridge oats with milk.
Three day meal plan for elderly male patient


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


Cereal (Bran flakes) with 200 ml of skimmed milk with 25 grams of dried apricots

Cereal (Weetabix) with 200ml of skimmed milk with 25 grams of prunes

Cereal (Bran flakes) with 200 ml of skimmed milk


2 rice cakes with 2 slices of turkey breast

Slice of malt loaf with low fat spread/margarine and a sliced banana

2 wheat crackers with two slices of lean ham


Bowl of watercress soup with slice of whole grain toast

Steamed cod fillet and baked potato

Bowl of watercress soup with slice of whole grain toast


Sliced honey dew melon

One orange

Sliced honey dew melon


Beef lasagne with green beans and sweetcorn

Macaroni cheese and one chicken Gijon

Chicken ratatouille and steamed rice

Nutrition is an important determinant of health in an elderly person. I chose this meal plan as the meals are low in fat, refined sugar and sodium, and high in essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals. Following this meal plan helps the individual avoid gout, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease arthritis, cancer, respiratory disorders, and difficulty in passing stools, obesity and type 2 diabetes. One major concern in an elderly person is obtaining sufficient fluid intake.


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


3 whole eggs (yolk and white) 45 grams of oats (with 350 ml of semi skimmed milk) with sliced banana and 20 grams of blueberries
1 litre of fruit squash/water

45 grams of oats (with 350 ml of semi skimmed milk) with sliced banana and 20 grams of raisins
2 slices of wholegrain bread/toast with peanut butter
3 whole eggs (yolk and white
1 litre of fruit squash/water

45 grams of oats (with 350 ml of semi skimmed milk) with sliced banana and 20 grams of dates
3 whole eggs (yolk and white)
2 slices of whole grain bread/toast with sunflower spread/margarine
1 litre of water/fruit squash


Grilled chicken breast (200 grams)
Medium baked potato (Grilled) with 200 grams of baked beans
40 grams green beans and 2 sliced vine tomatoes
500 ml water/sports isotonic drink

Grilled tuna fillet steak (200 grams)
Pepper and pea salsa (40 grams of red green and yellow peppers,10 grams of peas)
Durum wheat pasta (200 grams)
500ml of sports isotonic drink

Roasted sweet potato chunks/chips (150 grams)
Grilled chicken breast (200 grams)
Steamed spinach (50 grams) 2 sliced vine tomatoes
500ml of sports isotonic drink


Steamed salmon fillet (200 grams)
150 grams brown rice
Grilled broccoli (25 grams)
1 litre of fruit squash/water

Sirloin beef steak (100 grams)
Brown Rice (200 grams) Steamed Broccoli (20 grams) Sweetcorn (20 grams)
1 litre of water/fruit squash

Steamed salmon fillet (200 grams)
Durum wheat pasta (200 grams)
Mixed side salad ( 15 grams of lettuce,15 grams vine tomatoes, 15 grams mixed peppers)

3 day meal plan for Teenage Athlete
Case in point average height and weight of 17 year old male to be 5’10 and 10 stones/63 kg – This body mass index falls in the 50th percentile of the mean average
Taking into account average male calorific requirement (2500 calories), this is to be exceeded by around 35 – 65 % based on exceeded average energy expenditure for athletic performance/training as well as a general faster metabolic rate for a teenage male opposed to a mature male. The meal plan incorporates 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and a higher than average protein content mostly made up of chicken and fish and only one portion of red meat as to reach the protein threshold from a higher proportion of red meat is deemed generally as unhealthy, causing over a long period higher blood pressure and increased risk of stomach and bowel cancer. Due to the athletic activities to be undertaken there is an emphasis on consuming fluids and an excess and varied selection of carbohydrates is consumed daily. The diet is low in saturated fat and sugar
TAQ 2)
Type 2 diabetes can result from an inadequate diet, an inadequate diet can be defined as a deficiency, and a deficiency can be too great or too little of one specific food group in a healthy diet. Too much sugar in a person’s diet is a major factor in contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes. Specifically sucrose, sucrose and sugar are not actually required by the body so their consumption can be deemed as a deficiency in itself. Furthermore the excess consumption of sugar can lead to an increase in weight and obesity which in turn increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Higher than normal blood glucose levels cumulatively over a long period leads to insulin resistance.

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Atherosclerosis, the clogging of the arteries can be a secondary effect of having type 2 diabetes but in most cases is caused by too high a fat content in one’s diet, more specifically consuming too much saturated fat often found in processed foods and a lack of unsaturated fats with high density lipids and beneficial cholesterol lowering effect on the body. A diet with a frequency of fruit and vegetables has a negating effect as well as oily fish, nuts and seeds, sunflower and seed oils.
Rickets is usually caused by a lack of vitamin D and/or calcium. Physiologically most of our vitamin D comes from sunlight not our food and the process of calcium absorption is very dependent on vitamin D levels in the body. However we do garner some vitamin D from food. Eggs, oily fish and cereals are all good sources of vitamin D and deficiencies in these food types regardless of UV exposure could contribute to the onset of rickets. Milk and other dairy products have the highest calcium content and a lack of dairy as well as green vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage can have a detrimental effect on calcium uptake in the body.
TAQ 3)

Digestion is necessary as it breaks down the size of food to make digestion a more efficient process food is broken down into smaller constituent parts so the surface area for the active sites for enzymes to occur increases. Proteins are broken down into peptides, which are then broken down into single amino acids that allow absorption into the bloodstream through the small intestine. Absorption occurs when the food enters the body as the food molecules pass through a layer of cells and into the bodies’ tissues. This occurs in the small intestine which has many villi that are specialised for absorption. Assimilation occurs when the food molecules becomes part of the bodies tissue.





Mouth/Buccal cavity

Mechanical digestion begins in the mouth. Mastication involves the teeth breaking down food and release of saliva.

The breaking down of food is essential to optimum digestion and the absorption of nutrients. The salivary glands contain an enzyme called amylase which starts the process of digestion in the mouth.


The oesophagus is a muscular pipe that delivers food from the mouth to the stomach

The process of the movement of food is automatic done through muscular contractions with certain


The role of the stomach is to store and digest food with gastric juices.

Allows chemical digestion through pepsins converting food to proteins. Mechanical digestion through muscular stomach layers churning. As well as a non-specific defence against microbes.

Small intestine

Onward movement of stomach contents by peristalsis. The continued digestion of carbohydrates proteins and fats by villi.

Carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides, proteins are broken down to amino acids. Fats are broken down to fatty acids and glycerol.

Large intestine

Absorption of water through osmosis until faecal matter is achieved. Minerals salts and some drugs are also still absorbed at this point. Also synthesise of vitamin k and folic acid occur by microbial activity.

The importance of the large intestine allows undigested to enter from the small intestine. It then reabsorbs water that is used in digestion and eliminates undigested food and fibre. This causes food waste products to harden and form faeces.


The opening excretes waste product as faeces from the colon.

The anus allows the mass movement of waste product to occur to allow space for new food to enter the stomach and digesting contents to move from the small to large in intestine.

Digestive juice

Site of production

Enzymes in juice

Function of enzyme


Salivary gland


Breaks down (hydrolyses) starch and sugar into maltose. It also digests carbohydrates (polysaccharides) into smaller disaccharide units, eventually converting them into monosaccharides such as glucose.

Pancreatic juice



Converts sucrose to disaccharides and monosaccharides

Gastric juice

Gastric gland


Digests proteins breaking them down into peptides. Pepsinogen is released into the stomach and combined with hydrochloric acid to create Pepsin, Pepsin is also released into the bloodstream to break down some of the still undigested fragments of protein released by the small intestine.

Digestive system organ



The function of the stomach is to allow the required storage time for enzymes within gastric juices to act upon the stomach contents. Pepsins convert proteins to polypeptides. Like the mouth there is an element of mechanical digestion occurring in the stomach. Three muscular layers compose the stomach lining, the churning action of these layers help to digest stomach contents. Gastric juice is also added to turn the contents into ‘chyme’. The stomach has some secondary functions as well, it provides a defence against microbes and allows preparation for iron absorption by solubising iron salts and secreting the hormone gastrin.


The intestines, both small and large, transport food and digest nutrients from food and absorb these into the blood stream. The small intestine is about 1 inch in diameter and about 10 feet long in a living body. It extends from the stomach to the large intestine and consists of 3 major regions: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The duodenum receives partially digested food from the stomach, bile from the liver and pancreatic juices from the pancreas. These substances mix in the duodenum to further digest food .The jejunum is a longer region of intestine where most of the absorption of nutrients occurs. Finally, food passes into the ileum, the longest region of the small intestine where harder to digest nutrients are lastly broken down before food passes into the large intestine.
The large intestine receives faecal matter from the small intestine through the ileocecal sphincter. The smooth walls of the large intestine absorb water from faecal matter as well as vitamins released from the fermentation of faeces by bacteria.
Faecal matter passes from the cecum into the colon, the largest region of the large intestine. The transverse colon then carries faeces towards the descending colon to the S-shaped sigmoid colon and rectum.
.The rectum stores faeces until they are ready to be defecated.


The oesophagus is the muscular tube around 25 – 30 cm long that transports food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. The muscular layers that form the oesophagus are pressed together at both ends by the sphincter muscles, to prevent food or liquids leaking from the stomach back into the oesophagus or mouth. When the patient swallows, the sphincters temporarily relax to allow passage. The Oesophagus also acts to quell any reflux from the stomach, stopping stomach contents from being ejected back through the mouth.

TAQ 5)

The digestive tract, consisting of the stomach, small and large intestines. The stomach is made of three layers of smooth muscle fibres, an outer layer of longitudinal fibres middle layer of circular fibres and an inner layer of oblique muscle fibres. This arrangement allows for the churning effect of gastric activity.
When the stomach is empty the mucous membrane lining is thrown into folds or rugae when the stomach has contents these folds are ironed out.Numerous gastric glands are situated below the surface in the mucuous membrane.
The small intestine also has layers,the peritoneum is a double layer and connects the jejunum and ileum to the abdominal wall.The attatchment is short and fan shaped,large blood vessels and nerves pass between the two layers.Their is also a mucousa present here it contains villi and microvill it has a large surface area and many folds.Their are circular folds which act to mix chyme,the villi in this mucousal layer contibute to final stages of digestion.There are also lymph nodes within the mucousa which release defense cells against ingested antigens.
The large intestine also has a mucosa ; made of simple columnar epithelial tissue. The mucosa is smooth, unlike the small intestine lacks villi however it does have a large number of mucous glands secreting mucus into the hollow lumen as to lubricate the surface of the large intestine and protect it from rough food particles. Surrounding the mucosa is a layer of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, the submucosa, which is there to support the other layers of the large intestine.
The muscularis layer surrounds the submucosa and contains many layers of visceral muscle cells that contract and move the large intestine.
Finally, the serosa forms the outermost layer. The serosa is a thin layer of simple squamous epithelial tissue that secretes watery serous fluid to lubricate the surface of the large intestine. protecting it from friction between abdominal organs and the surrounding muscles and bones of the lower torso.
Gerard J. Tortola, Mark Nielsen Principles of Human Anatomy, 13th Edition December 2013 – 2014
http://www.valuepenguin.com/nutrition. Last accessed 10/03/2015
John Evans, Alison Lansley and Michael J. Sanderson, (2006), Biology A level
Richard Parsons (2010) AS/A2 Level Biology AQA Complete Revision & Practice
Smith, A. (2012). Get instant biology help. Available: http://www.tutorvista.com/biology/ Last accessed 05/03/2015
Waugh, Anne and Grant, Allison (2006) Ross and Wilson: Anatomy and physiology in health and illness. (10th edition). Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.

Right and Wrong Ways to Diet

Table of Contents (Jump to)
Literature Review
What’s Right and Wrong about Eating like a Caveman
Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain
Indigestion and Heartburn
Poor Sleep
Nutrient Deficiency
Chronic Disease
Extra Pounds
The Domino Effect
Finding and Discussion
Poor Brain Function
Poor Exercise Capabilities
In this study, the wrong way to diet – The consequences of that and right way to diet and exercise is discussed. The Paleo diet with high in protein and low carbohydrates are becoming popular in American restaurants such as HG SPLY Co. that is Dallas, and Hu Kitchen of New York City. Limited diets make the body starve hence slow down the metabolism if someone diet in “on and off” pattern again and again, according to NEDA. According to MayoClinic.com sleep consultant Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, balanced snack intake before bed can assist in sleep as going to bed in hunger as well as overeating may disturb the sleep. For losing body fat, both proper diet and exercise is highly effective as compare to dieting alone. Without exercise, the most nutritious low calorie diet would cause loss of muscle mass. One pound of muscle carries just 600 calories or one sixth of calories are present in the pound of fat.
The Wrong Way to Diet
A nutritious diet provides satisfactory amount of minerals, vitamins, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates with the help of different food items. Conversely, a diet that is not good for health, consists of so much saturated and trans fats as well as sodium, cholesterol, added sugars and several processed ingredients with no or very small amount of nutrients. These unhealthy diets can cause poor nutrient-to calorie ratio. This result further leads to increase body weight and multi-nutrition issues related to health.
A healthy and balanced diet for the majority of people contains various nutritious foods like fish, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables, whereas moderate quantity of low nutrient fare is supposed to be problematic, having poor diet even for the short interval of time can put negative results (Waxman, 2005).
Having knowledge about the related short term risks become an inspirational factor for making unhealthy diet an exception instead of rule. For making sure the diet is full with the required needs, an individual then must take guidance from registered dietitian.
In this study, the wrong way to diet – The consequences of thatand right way to diet and exercise is discussed. For this study, literature review focuses on what is right and wrong about eating like a caveman along with the issues of unhealthy diet such as insulin resistance, mood problems etc. The topic seems to be crucial because wrong way to diet can lead to several problems and to know the correct way to diet and exercise is the need of today.
Literature Review
What’s Right and Wrong about Eating like a Caveman
The eating habits of cavemen are not so much well recognized. The question is, do we have to talk about menu cues from the ancestors of ancient age?
The Paleo diet with high in protein and low carbohydrates are becoming popular in American restaurants such as HG SPLY Co. that is Dallas, and Hu Kitchen of New York City. The products with inspiration of Paleo including grass-fed beef pemmican that is a native meat paste of America, are among those popular foods groups. Miley Cyrus, some other celebrities and Kobe Bryant are the eager followers of Paleo diet (Sallis, 2008).

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The Paleo diet has been famous for many years in the U.S. but the current momentum has been significant. The magazine Scientific American stated on June 3rd, that Paleo diet was suspected to be half baked, though the story was ridicules. The magazine proposed as if the caveman was imagining of a lean, tall, ripped and agile young man with 30 years of age; and it was nothing but an invention. In fact, there has been a smart cut down on processed and preserved packaged foods. There was an observation about the idea of gathering foods of stone age, that includes dairy products beans and grain (Aday, 2011).
In the same way, the U.S. News ranks the Paleo diet as the food placed at bottom with 31st in the ranking of the “Best diets Ever” in its 2014 rankings along with the Dukan diet. The magazine stated that the issues were taken by experts with the diet with all measures.
As a matter of fact, this has been a lifestyle as well as a weight loss effort that has been programmed with the promotion of the food that has low carbs.
Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain
Insulin resistance is characterized by a condition in which insulin hormone’s ability to manage the blood sugar is lowered. In this condition, risk for diabetes occurrence increases and weight gain is also one of its consequences. In July 2009, a study published in Molecular Medicine in which eighteen lean and healthy participants consumed high calorie diet for almost four weeks (Aday, 2011). The volunteers gained about ten percent of the body weight by the end of the study as well as nineteen percent of the body fat. They developed medium insulin resistance while they maintained their lean mass. Consuming low calories may also result in weight gain. Limited diets make the body starve hence slow down the metabolism if someone diet in “on and off” pattern again and again, according to NEDA.
Indigestion and Heartburn
During or after eating, indigestion leads to uncomfortable sensations in the upper abdomen. The common causes include consumption of fatty foods or eating fast and intake of lot of alcohol or caffeine, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. On the other hand, heartburn occurs in the navel and breast bone characterized by burning or pain often occurs with indigestion (Neinstein, 2008). People can also experience bloating, nausea as well as acid reflux occurring at the time when stomach contents move back into the esophagus. The UMMC suggests eating slowly to prevent indigestion and making eating environment calm enough as well as avoiding exercise just after the meal.
Poor Sleep
According to MayoClinic.com sleep consultant Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, balanced snack intake before bed can assist in sleep as going to bed in hunger as well as overeating may disturb the sleep. Fatty and spicy foods before sleep may lead to aggression during night if one is prone to heartburn hence it causes unwanted wake-ups. Poor sleep may lead to other temporary effects of an unhealthy diet for instance, weight gain and decreased brain capabilities and exercise capabilities (Sallis, 2008).
Mood Problems
Food and nutrients are the basis for the chemicals present in the brain to function properly. The chemicals in the brain promoting positive moods like serotonin and dopamine require proper functioning. Prudent on the calories or carbohydrates that enhance production of serotonin may lead to depression. People taking low carbohydrates have indicated high depression feelings, tension and anger feelings, according to Judith Wurtman, a psychologist as well as director of the Women’s Health Program (Aday, 2011). Feelings of guilt, shame and depression can also be the consequences of overeating that interfere with the blood sugar control and that can disturb the positive moods.
Nutrient Deficiency
The human body needs a healthy diet in order to get nutrition that further benefits the body to grow, glow, maintain and perform the functions of the body. Different whole and fresh foods, are considered as an plentiful source of nutrients. The American diet, though, many times looks short of sufficient amount of main nutrients like dietary fibers, potassium, calcium and vitamins specially vitamin D. if the calcium is not according to the needs of the body, it can cause loss of bones and shortening of vitamin D that further weakens the bones (Waxman, 2005). The shortage of potassium according to proposed levels can cause muscle weakness and body weaknesses. Failure in getting the proper amount of fiber can cause unhealthy colon and increased risk of heart diseases as well as diabetes.
Chronic Disease
The nutrients that are gotten from nutrition help the body to fight against diseases. A diet with less nutrients as well as with high amount of fats, sugar or salt, can cause some developed chronic conditions. The intake of unhealthy diet enhances the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 has stated (Aday, 2011).
Extra Pounds
In order to prevent from chronic disease, the management of weight must be kept in mind as a primary concern. The increased weight has been a major consequence of an unhealthy diet. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the increased weight causes an increased body mass index, or equal to 25 or higher the BMI. Insufficient fruits, whole grains, vegetables are the food elements that many times have contribution in high BMI. The other factors responsible for high BMI include diets with excessive amount of meat, fried foods. The food intake habits that cause high BMI are regular use of beverages with high calories such as soda and lack of physical activities (Sallis, 2008).
The Domino Effect
If the BMI level reaches equal to 30 or higher, the conditions are considered as obesity. More than thirty five percent of American adult citizens are considered to be having obesity. Obesity is the major cause of increased risk of other health issues. As CDC states, obesity becomes the host of several health concerns including heart disease, type two diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, stroke, liver diseases, gallbladder diseases, gynecological issues, osteoarthiritis and infertility (Waxman, 2005).
Finding and Discussion
There is a simple theory behind the diet:
Our hunter-gatherer forebears, who survived on fish and meat that wasn’t saturated with growth-stimulating hormones or antibiotics, and also on fresh vegetables and fruits, were on the right path till the introduction of toxins by Agricultural Revolution into the food chain some 10,000 years back
Therefore, the goal is for the 21st Century citizens to go back and eat in such a way that was used by primitive people in the Paleolithic Era, circa around 2million years back.
But this is found by dieticians as limited, even choosy, requirements like joining with very pure plants and meats. As put it by American Scientists, “The Paleo diet is based on privilege more as compare to logic. There are a number of food groups that are restricted by some diets. These diets cannot be described asbalanced diets because they consist of some specific good groups. As food experts have an opinion that there is no connection between the Paleo eaters and their age because what they eat does not prove presence of any life increasing ingredients scientifically, neither there is any connection between their healthy life and the diet they intake (Aday, 2011).
Marlene Zuk is an associate of the University of Minnesota in the Biology department. She has an evolutionary character with different objectives. In Paleo-Fantasy, she states that the process of evolution has made people significantly learn about their way of life along with sex and diet. Ripping apart, she states several contemporary concepts with regards to Paleolithic ancestors. She insists on saying that the book was not a dietary book about telling people eating ways but the evolution must be understood by the people (Aday, 2011).
Poor Brain Function
The brain of humans depends on glucose which comes from the carbohydrates and antioxidants and healthy fats for functioning in a proper manner. In accordance with the published study in December 2009 “The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology”, foods containing fats could through negative effects on the function of brain. A study on rats, in which they are tested significantly by giving high fat diet which resulted in lower cognitive abilities after being eaten the fatty diet (Aday, 2011). Skipping meals or eating limited diets can through same effects which include poor concentration abilities and memory.
Poor Exercise Capabilities
Eating too little or too much can fatigue, lethargy, and other impacts that become a blockage for doing physical activity. After eating the diets full of fats, the rats in the study “The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology” covered distance 35% less as compare to rats that were given lower amount of fat. In accordance with National Eating Disorders Association, one often confronted with poor muscles, endurance, coordination, oxygen utilization, and strength. Dieting can cause fainting and physical weakness also.
To keep the weight in check, one should exercise as well as healthfully eat. According to the research, when people become conscious and devote time to a healthy habit then they pay less attention on the other. People have lower body mass index (BMI) who believe that diet is the most essential factor in weight control as compare to those who think that exercise is significant (Sallis, 2008).
In Canada, China, U.S., South Korea and France, researchers asked approximately 1,200 people in the studies about the main factor making people overweight. The height and weight of the participants were also taken for calculating their BMIs. Consequently, those who said eating right is significant to weight control had lower BMIs than those who said to stay active are significant for prevention of obesity.
The weight control beliefs of people influenced their food choices. Brent McFerran, PhD and an assistant professor at Ross School of Business said, “Our beliefs guide our actions”. People might move more as well as focus less on what they eat if they think exercise is significant to weight control. Exercise may support weight loss among other advantages (Waxman, 2005). People watch over to overestimate the amount of calories during compensating for the extra activity by eating more.
People should hold onto their gym membership. Staying active help lose weight although it is difficult to slim down with just exercise as it is crucial for the health. Moreover, it highly supports heart health, helps sleep, reduces stress, strengthens bones as well as improves mental health. Exercise not only produces endorphins which increases metabolic rate but it also motivate to eat better. These are the outstanding reasons to hit the gym when one can.
Exercise habits as well as diet can determine that either one is gaining body fat or loosing body fat. Both of them determine that how much calories have been taken in and how many used up. One need to control the number of calories attained from a balanced diet to lose body fat as well as one should increase the number of calories which are being burnt through exercise.
For losing body fat, both proper diet and exercise is highly effective as compare to dieting alone. Without exercise, the most nutritious low calorie diet would cause loss of muscle mass. One pound of muscle carries just 600 calories or one sixth of calories are present in the pound of fat. Therefore, muscle calories can be lost much faster as compare to fat. One should anticipate to lose less than one percent body fat in a month or about one to two pounds of fat in a week because a pound of fat contain approximately 3,500 calories (Neinstein, 2008). Muscles are losing if someone losing any more than that of mentioned value. One simply is not able to hasten fat loss. It is not possible to gain fat overnight and also it is not possible to lose fat overnight. However, the losses attained would be permanent. The consequences may be extraordinary with the associated changes that would make by the exercise to the body.
Before starting to reduce calorie diet as well as exercise program, one should consult the doctor, particularly if anyone has a history of health issue or those who have not had a physical checkup on a recent basis or being pregnant or lactating. Proper diet for losing fat is not difficult as well as more pleasing as compare to one might consider. Many people consider diet as a short-term method of limiting the food until the time they attain a particular weight target. It is not the reality. People do not need to go on a certain diet forbidding some of the foods or guide regarding what to eat daily. This is what people may stick with for certain times however they tend to go back to the previous eating habits when they go off that type of restrict diet. Hence they again gain weight. People must never imagine of being on or off a particular diet.
As an alternative, one should make their own choices within any guideline of a healthy diet in which person can enjoy and continue for life. Eating fruits, vegetables and fruits more and fat foods less is the best diet for not only to lose fat but also for the lifetime. There are two things to lose body fat that one should think how and what to eat:

Pursue a healthy and balanced diet by taking some foods from each food group. Those diets that remove a particular food group in the diet will never last long because they do not offer healthy nutrition. The best diet must enhance the health during losing fat.
Cut down the calories amount or give up some of the favorite foods one select. It indicates selecting low calorie foods frequently without giving up the required nutrients.

Diet on the basis of these two terms “balance” and “calories” is the best concept one attain to a “magic” diet to lose body fat. Do not eat too much of any food but eat variety of foods.
Aday, L. A., & Cornelius, L. J. (2011). Designing and conducting health surveys: a comprehensive guide. John Wiley & Sons.http://books.google.com.pk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=gfHpTiGcdO4C&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=guide+to+health+diet&ots=e8csd9XrUK&sig=o5_FyalAgjQJYkeRBrVKDok1hUw
Neinstein, L. S. (Ed.). (2008). Adolescent health care: a practical guide (Vol. 414). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.http://books.google.com.pk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=er8dQPxgcz0C&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=guide+to+health+diet&ots=UZ-WV09CBm&sig=004gVmOmaF1VnC5hKELsL09eTUA
Sallis, J. F., Owen, N., & Fisher, E. B. (2008). Ecological models of health behavior. Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice, 4, 465-485.https://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/40920657/1475713404/name/HB+%26+HE-+Glanz+Book.pdf#page=503
Waxman, A. (2005). Why a global strategy on diet, physical activity and health? (Vol. 95, pp. 162-166). Karger Publishers.www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/88302

Health Impacts of the Modern American Diet

In contrast to the epidemics of infectious diseases in the 18th and 19th centuries, the conventional dietary guidelines Americans have been receiving in the past many years has resulted in an epidemic of another genre, that is Obesity. The magnitude of obesity epidemic surpasses the historical epidemics in terms of causing disease and deaths, and an economic burden on individuals and nations at large.
About 25% of American populations use Statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) and more and more consume diet low in fat, but inspite of these steps more American are expected to die of heart disease than ever before.
American heart Association statistics estimate that presently 75 million Americans have heart disease; about 20 million suffer from diabetes while another 57 million are prediabetics, at risk of developing diabetes disease later. All these diseases are affecting younger population more, contrary to the myth that chronic diseases only affect old people.
In contrast to the epidemics of infectious diseases in the 18th and 19th centuries ,the conventional dietary guidelines Americans have been receiving in the past many years has resulted in an epidemic of another genre ,that is Obesity. The magnitude of obesity epidemic surpasses the historical epidemics in terms of causing disease and deaths, and an economic burden on individuals and nations at large.
About 25% of American populations use Statins(cholesterol lowering drugs) and more and more consume diet low in fat, but inspite of these steps more American are expected to die of heart disease than ever before.
American heart Association statistics estimate that presently 75 million Americans have heart disease; about 20 million suffer from diabetes while another 57 million are prediabetics, at risk of developing diabetes disease later. All these diseases are affecting younger population more, contrary to the myth that chronic diseases only affect old people.
Americans have been thriving on a typical diet full of sugars, carbohydrates and processed foods with omega 6 oils, for the last 60 years.
While we are enjoying the sweetness of a baked roll in our mouth, our bodies perceive it as a threat to its well-being like an enemy waging war.
How can an innocent looking, delicious sweet roll cause a cascade of inflammation to cause serious disease?
When you eat simple carbohydrates like sugar, it causes the blood sugar to rise.
In response pancreas secrete a hormone Insulin meant to control the blood sugar level. Insulin drives the extra sugar into cells, but if the cells do not require that sugar they throw extra sugar again into blood, as excessive sugar might impair their function. The body secretes more insulin to deal with the rise in blood sugar as a result of extra sugar rejected by cells. The extra glucose gets converted to stored fats.

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Let’s talk more about that “not so innocent” sweet roll. Sugar is not the only culprit contained in it .it is baked in omega6 oils like soybean. The same omega 6 oils are used in chips and fries and present in processed foods to give longer shelf life. These omega 6 oils are essential as they are part of cell membranes ,but they need be in correct balance with omega 3 oils .A faulty balance between the two , due to excessive consumption of omega 6 can cause cell membranes to produce Cytokines ,chemical substances which cause inflammation.
The ideal ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 should be 1:1, but up to 3; 1 is acceptable considering the trends in food consumption, but today an average American diet is imbalanced to the range of 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6.This results in huge amounts of cytokines causing inflammation.
To add to the injury caused by high blood sugar, the excess weight that we accumulate as a result of these foods, cause over-burdened fat cells which release chemical substances contributing in causing inflammation. So the journey that starts with savoring a sweet roll trigger the harmful process of inflammation in our body causing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease,
There is no choice but to accept that our bodies are not designed by nature to utilize foods rich in sugar and dripping with omega 6 oils. Our continued use of these foods means that inflammatory process in our bodies goes unabated.
The solution for curbing this inflammatory process lies in getting closer to nature.

Consume foods in their natural form. For carbohydrates choose fruits and vegetables (contain complex carbohydrates), eat proteins to build muscles.
Restrict the use of mega 6 oils like corn oil and soybean oil and processed foods containing them.
Make healthier choices, one tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg, instead choose to use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef. These animal fats contain less than 20% of omega 6, thus much lesser risk for causing inflammation, as opposed to the so called healthier polyunsaturated oils.

The myth that saturated fats alone are responsible for heart disease has been drummed into your ears for so long that you believe it as “science”. It is time for you to leave behind all overstated science of saturated fats raising cholesterol and only saturated fats causing heart disease. In context of the new discovery, that inflammation not cholesterol causes heart disease, the concern about saturated fats no longer remains relevant.
The old cholesterol theory led to low fat and no fat dietary recommendations and consumption of foods taking the injurious effects of inflammation to an epidemic proportion.
People were wronged by the advice to increase the consumption of omega 6 oils and decreasing the use of saturated fats, leading to injurious cascade of inflammation inside our bodies; it resulted in all-time highest rates for developing heart and other chronic diseases
What you can do to Right this wrong?
I will emphasize again, go natural. Try to remember the foods your grandmother served on the table and get closer to them instead of processed foods your mother bought from the grocery store. Good news is that by avoiding the inflammatory food and consuming fresh unprocessed food containing essential nutrients, you cannot only halt the process of inflammation inside the body, but you can also turn the wheels of this process backwards and reverse the injurious effects of eating a typical American diet for many years.
Animal Proteins; You Should Eat Them for a Healthy Heart
Most people think that only health problem associated with eating a vegetarian, also called as vegan diet, is Vitamin B12 deficiency, as its present only in animal sources in its natural form.
This is a serious health hazard as research has shown that vitamin B12 deficiency can cause elevated homocysteine levels, which increase the risk for developing heart disease and stroke. But, B12 deficiency is not the only health risk associated with vegan diet.
New research is coming up with evidence that diet devoid of all animal foods leads to a low dietary intake of proteins and sulfur amino acids, thus increasing the risk of heart disease in vegetarians.
Vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients and have lots of benefits for the heart and overall health. You can eat as much vegetables as you like without any health fear, rather this is what should be aimed by every one for optimal health. The problem arises when you eliminate animal proteins completely from your diets resulting in deficiency of valuable nutrients that can only be obtained from animal sources.
According to WHO (World health Organization), 36 million people die each year because of chronic diseases also known a Non communicable diseases. The four major diseases of this group include heart diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, Diabetes and cancers.
In the US, in the Year 2013, more than 1,660,290 new cancer cases were projected to be diagnosed and about 580,350 Americans died from the disease. Today, heart disease is the leading Couse of death in America, both in men and women. About 600,000 Americans die of heart disease annually.
Modern biomedical science has made leaps of advancement in technology in the last 50 years or so, but western medicine has failed to control the occurrence of these top killer diseases, i.e. cancer and heart disease.
Practice over the years has shown that western medicine has developed “conventional strategies” for dealing these diseases from the diagnosis to treatment .These conventional strategies are based on wrong assumptions and approaches that have proven to be more harmful than beneficial.
Moreover, these strategies of modern medicine do not address the root cause of the
problem, which is a faulty diet high in Sugars and processed foods.
For more than 60 years, saturated fats have been held responsible for causing heart disease. The conventional dietary advice and recommendations for prevention of heart diseases have remained focused on low fat diet, but these faulty recommendations have actually contributed in the epidemic of heart disease and other chronic diseases, we are facing today. Stress on low fat diets has resulted in promulgation of a very dangerous low-fat, high-sugar diet.
Actually, an optimum diet that promotes health and prevents diseases should be high in good fats and very low in sugars and carbohydrates from the non-vegetable sources.
Research conducted by some of the most prestigious institutions in the US confirms that Sugar is the main dietary factor responsible for development of chronic diseases. This information that sugar especially in form of fructose is the main culprit in causing heart disease and cancers enables you to chalk out a prevention plan for yourself.
Health practitioners and naturopaths have been warning against the health risks associated with the high consumption of sugars. Many people stop or decrease the use of sugar in tea or coffee and other sweets or confectionaries, but you have to beware of the Hidden sugar in food products. Hidden sugar is present as ‘High fructose corn syrup’ (HFCS) in almost every processed food item ranging from sodas to yogurts, sauces, and breads. Many staple foods which are grain based like wheat, corn or rice are also eventually converted to the sugar in your body. Thus, the bagels, pan cakes and breakfast cereal are actually increasing the sugar burden in your body.
The main culprit among sugars is Fructose. Clinical trials showed that people consuming HFCS were more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases risk factor in a short span of almost two weeks. The brighter side is that studies have also shown that if sugar consumption is restricted ,whatever sugar form it may be ,it significantly decreases the risk for developing both breast and colon cancers.
The health benefits of fruits are far more greater than any concerns for fructose damage ,but remember two principles

Eat in moderation ,as the newer trend to grow fruits that are very sweet has resulted in very high levels of fructose in fruits as compared to earlier times
Eat the whole fruit and refrain from juices, as juice contains only the sugar and vitamins and deficient in the fiber and other nutrients contained in the pulp of fruits.

The real cause of concern is the High fructose syrup that is added in almost every processed food or drink that we buy.
Healthy diet for maintaining blood glucose and Insulin levels, in conjunction with a comprehensive exercise program are two essential components of a cancer recovery program. These are also essential parts of any cancer prevention strategy. Diet and exercise also play an important role in preventing heart disease.
Research studies have shown that exercise can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by a factor of three. In a recent meta-analysis conducted at the Bloomberg institute of Public health, 305 randomized controlled trials were reviewed for comparing the effects of exercise and heart disease medications. The analysis interestingly revealed that there was no statistically significant difference between the effects of exercise and heart medicines like statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) and beta blockers.
The crux of the matter remains that a “Healthy life style”, to maintain an adequate weight with healthy eating and regular exercise is the need. A healthy diet and exercise program ensures that insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity is maintained.
As mentioned earlier, insulin and leptin resistance, resulting for the excessive consumption of refined sugars and lack of exercise, is the root cause of all chronic diseases
Things to be done to reverse insulin and lepton resistance effectively are;

Keep away from sugar, processed foods ,processed fructose and grains
Consume healthy diet of organic, whole foods
Carbohydrates in grains can be replaced with healthier choices like large quantities of vegetables, high quality proteins in low to moderate amounts; ideally form organically raised pastured animals.

Forget the faulty recommendation of 10% fats in diet. Consume as much as you like from healthy fats (saturated and monosaturated fats from animal and tropical oil sources).For optimum health people may use up to 50-85% fats in their diet
Deep fried food in Traditional Southern Diet makes you prone for developing- STROKE
The traditional southern food is famous for the deep fried stuff, but new medical research suggests that consumption of these deep fried food increases the risk for developing Stroke.
The results from a research study conducted at University of Alabama at Birmingham were presented at the annual International Stroke Conference in Hawaii. The results showed a massive 41 % percent increase in the risk for developing stroke for people who use the typical southern diet rich in deep fried items regularly, as compared to those who don’t use such food, and the risk was even higher for African-American which was 63 percent
How to attain Balance in Omega 6:3 Ratio
I would be giving you few tips for avoiding the consumption of foods that would adversely affect the omega 6:3 ratio.
1: Always read the label of the foods and condiments you buy.
Almost all processed and prepackaged food contains oils that are rich in omega 6 and thus would adversely affect your Omega 6:3 balance.
In the following table you would find oils rich in omega 6, thus need to be avoided and the other alternate choices of fats that are acceptable for maintaining this balance.

Oils containing Omega 6(Need to reduce)

Acceptable oils

Corn oil
Canola oil
Soy oil
Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats
Margarine Shortening

High quality extra virgin olive oil
Coconut oil
Organic, grass-fed butter
Rendered fat from cooking healthy animals can also be used

The paleo diet consumed by our forefathers mainly consisted of lean meats, vegetables, fruits nuts, seeds and very limited amounts of grains, along with a very active lifestyle they maintained their blood sugar levels in the range of 60 to 90 mg /dl. Meanwhile the high carb and sugary diets which are consumed today result in unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels. The excess blood sugar in our blood causes many health hazards including heart disease, damage to the blood vessels and may trigger yeast over growth resulting in fungal infections

Diet Coke Customer Target Market Analysis Report



1. Abstract

2. Customer Target Market Analysis

3. Product Description

4. Target Market Profile

4.1 Demographical Characteristics

4.2 Psychographic Characteristics

4.3 Behavioural Characteristic

4.4 Geographical Distribution



Diet Coke is the variant of Coca Cola that is made primarily of the artificial sweeteners.  The consumption and the usage of the Diet Coke is one of the highest in Canada in the Abbotsford region. One of the major reasons for the increased consumption is due to the health-conscious audience that is witnessed in the region as well as the higher number of women and children that are the primary market. At the same time, the hot and humid climate plays a major part in the preferences of the people.

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As people are becoming more and more health conscious and health aware with the passage of time, the tendency has increased among people to make sure that they are looking at the healthier alternatives of the carbonated and soft drinks. Despite the fact that people are pretty much aware about what are some of the health risks that are witnessed in the diet version of the soft drinks, there is a perception among people regarding how the consumption of the diet drinks such as diet coke are good for the overall health of the person. Now, if one talks about the population of the Abbotsford, the population demographics are such that comprise of 65 % of the women and children. In this paper, it would be seen what is the target market for the diet coke in the Abbotsford market and what are some of the salient features of that target market at the given point of time.  Diet Coke does not use a modified form of the Coca-Cola recipe, but instead an entirely different formula. The controversial New Coke, introduced in 1985, used a version of the Diet Coke recipe that contained high fructose corn syrup and had a slightly different balance of ingredients. In 2004, Coca-Cola introduced Coca-Cola C2, which it claims tastes much closer to Coca-Cola but contains half the carbohydrates. In 2005, the company introduced Coca-Cola Zero (replaced by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in 2017), a sugar-free variation of regular Coca-Cola.

The first thing that is needed to be understood is that what actually the Diet Coke is.  It is a sugar free variant of the soft drink that is produced and distributed by the Coca Cola Company. One of the basic ingredients of the diet coke is that it contains artificial sweeteners. The product was unveiled in 1982 and the further introduction of the product was carried out in United States on August 9th 1982.  At that time, there was another variant of the Coca Cola that was less sugar that was available in the market but with the advent of the diet Coke, the demand for the alternative product fell down quickly and diet coke was able to make the place of the product in a very swift manner (Abere et al. 2016). 

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Now some understanding is being developed about the product, it would be seen that what is the target market for the diet Coke in the Abbotsford (Abere et al. 2016). It would be seen that what is the segment of the population that consumes the diet Coke and at the same time, it would be seen what are some of the demographical, psycho graphical and behavioural characteristics of the market at the given point of time.  At the same time, the geographical distribution of the product is also going to be looked at in the vicinity of Abbotsford.  Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have capitalized on the markets of people who require low sugar regimens, such as diabetics and people concerned with calorie intake. In the UK, a 330 ml can of Diet Coke contains around 1.3 kilocalories (5 kilojoules) compared to 142 kilocalories (595 kJ) for a regular can of Coca-Cola.

FIGURE 1: Coca-Cola’s revenue and income from 2009 to 2017

4.1 Demographical Characteristics

The major consumer of the diet Coke when it comes to the Abbotsford market comprises of the women. As a matter of fact, almost 65 % of the sales that is generated for the product pertain to the women. As a matter of fact, if one looks closely at the marketing demographics, then it can be said that the majority of the customers of the brand belong to the women demographics (Abere et al. 2016).   At the same time, the age group at which the customer base of the drink seems to be comprising of belongs to the women who are between the age group of 18 years to 35 years (Abere et al. 2016). It is quite understandable due to the fact that it is the same segment of the population that is quite conscious with regards to the way they look and they seem to care a lot about the way they look. On the other hand, if one talks about men, then the diet Coke does not seem to have penetrated that well into the given market segment.  As a matter of fact, if one looks at the advertisement and the market campaign for the brand, it can be said that the brand does not have set up its appeal for the male segment of the market at the given point of time.

FIGURE 2: Coca-Cola current and proposed nutrition labels



4.2 Psychographic Characteristics

Looking closely at the brand Coke and it can be seen that the value preposition of the brand is quite clear to say the least. Abbotsford is a special case due to the fact that it is the target market whose income is generally at the average level and it can be aid that the way target market has been shaped up, it is quite easy to work out what are some of the value preposition that is associated with the brand (Anthony and Energy, 2017). Most of the times, the target market and the customer that they are trying to attract are the ones that like to spend the good time together and the families are the ones that seem to comprise towards the market to say the least. As a matter of fact, an assessment can be made that the personality traits of the people who are the part of the target market of Abbotsford are the people who tend to be fun loving and have independent set of values  (Pendergrast, 2017). Not only that, Coke also seems to focus a lot when it comes to how the sociable conduct is supposed to be displayed (Anthony and Energy, 2017). Keeping these aspects in mind, Abbotsford is one of the places where the consumption is supposed to be on the higher side due to the fact that it marketed to that segment which was in abundance in the Abbotsford and it is one of the prime reasons that if one looks at the sales figures of the diet Coke in Abbotsford, it exceed and surpasses some of the other major segments of the major Canadian markets (Abere et al. 2016).

FIGURE 3: charter club sugar chart -soda drinks

4.3 Behavioural Characteristic

Diet Coke is a very interesting product.  Just about everyone knows that it consists of artificial sweeteners and most of the times, they have the same tendency and taste as compared to the normal Coke (Miller, 2018). As a matter of fact, if one talks about some of the harmful effects of the Diet Coke, then it can be said that it is pretty much at par with the conventional Coke as far as the way it can affect the health of an individual in an adverse manner (Anthony and Energy, 2017). Keeping that aspect in mind, the basic difference between the ways Canadian market operates is very different if one compares it to some of the markets in the United States. In United States, the serving size and the portion that is supposed to be served at the broader audience is such that the consumption is on the higher side in terms of the litres but the actual price is on the lower side (McKelvey, 2016). Comparing it with the Canadian market, the obvious difference is that how the serving size is on the smaller side but the prices are much higher as compared to the United States region even if one takes into account the price differences that are witnessed due to the change in the dollar values of both the countries.  What it means is that Canadian market is much apt when it comes to the way they are supposed to take care of their health at the given point of time.  And due to that tendency, they tend to consume Diet Coke under the assumption that it is much healthier as compared to the normal and conventional variants of the Coca Cola (Kant et al. 2018). Furthermore,  even in children, it is being encouraged the that the consumption of the Diet Coke is being made possible again due to the perception regarding what are some of the health benefits that are provided due to it. Thus the behavioural aspects of the way they react are rather obvious to say the least (Buchli, 2014).


4.4 Geographical Distribution

In order to have better understanding of the target market and the demographics of the given market, it is important to make sure that the geographical facts about the region are understood in a better manner to have better insight about the way target market is supposed to work (Buchli, 2014).  The determining factor in that regard is going to be the sort of weather that is witnessed at Abbotsford.  Most of the times, the weather that is witnessed in the region can be classified as Warm with the humidity being one of the highest in Canada (Griffiths & Vernotica, 2016). Due to that, at times, it is very important for the local populace to make sure that they remain hydrates most of the times. Not only that, the temperature that is witnessed in the region are the second highest in the country and the summers can go as long as six months (Dhar et al, 2016). Due to these factors it is one of the warmest cities in Canada and the climate that is seen here plays a major part as far as the product choices and the preferences that are being made by the general populace in the region.  It is one of the prime reasons that the consumption of the juices and the fizzy drinks is one of the highest in the region (Dhar et al, 2016). As a matter of fact, the consumption of the soft drinks in the region is such that it comprises of about 37 % of the whole consumption that is carried out In Canada (Ellertson, 2016).  Thus, it is a classical case that how weather has played an important part when it comes to making sure that the consumption of the fizzy drinks are on the higher side in the region and due to the healthcare tendency of the people, Diet Coke seems to be the staple choice of most of the people (Ellertson, 2016).

Abere, A., Capps, O., Church, J., & Love, A. (2016). Mergers and Market Power: Estimating the Effect on Market Power of the Proposed Acquisition by the Coca-Cola Company of Cadbury Schweppes’ Carbonated Soft Drinks in Canada. CONTRIBUTIONS TO ECONOMIC ANALYSIS, 255, 233-290.

Anthony, E. J., & Energy Research Laboratories (Canada). (2017). Bubbling fluidized bed combustion of syncrude coke. Energy, Mines and Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology.

Buchli, V. (Ed.). (2014). Material culture: critical concepts in the social sciences (Vol. 2). Taylor & Francis.

Clarke, T. (2017). Inside the bottle: Exposing the bottled water industry. Canadian Ctr for Policy.

Dana, L. P., & Oldfield, B. M. (2018). Lublin Coca-Cola Bottlers Ltd. International Marketing Review, 16(4-5), 291-301.

Dhar, T., Chavas, J. P., Cotterill, R. W., & Gould, B. W. (2016). An Econometric Analysis of Brand‐Level Strategic Pricing Between Coca‐Cola Company and PepsiCo. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 14(4), 905-931.

Ellertson, C. (2016). History and efficacy of emergency contraception: beyond Coca-Cola. International Family Planning Perspectives, 52-56.

Griffiths, R. R., & Vernotica, E. M. (2016). Is caffeine a flavoring agent in cola soft drinks?. Archives of family medicine, 9(8), 727.

Kant, G., Jacks, M., & Aantjes, C. (2018). Coca-cola enterprises optimizes vehicle routes for efficient product delivery. Interfaces, 38(1), 40-50.

McKelvey, S. M. (2016). Coca-Cola vs. PepsiCo-A” Super” Battleground for the Cola Wars?. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 15(2), 114.

Relationship between Student Diet and Academic Performance

1.0   Introduction
many young adults joining university, it is a time of substantial change in
social, economic and environmental surroundings.1 Currently,
there is
increasing advocacy for an emphasis on healthy lifestyle behaviours for student
populations.2 Researchers have established
that academic attainment plays a key role in an individual’s future health,
wealth and social outcomes.3, 4 Providing this, academic
achievement must be considered by public health decision makers aiming to
improve health across the lifespan.5

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A balanced and nutritious
diet means it is adapted to special individual needs to reach optimal health,
that is it supplies optimal levels of nutrients to maintain healthy function.6
Diet quality is a composite measure of scoring food patterns, with a focus on
whole food intake.7 The objective is to maintain
a high diet quality, through consuming the correct amounts of the food groups
from relevant dietary guidelines. Assessment of dietary patterns can allow
unfavourable intakes to be identified.8 Poor diet quality introduces
nutritional inadequacies and is a significant predictor of poorer health
While the connections between health and education are widely accepted, the mechanisms that contribute to this relationship remain poorly understood. Scholars propose that health behaviours contribute towards cognitive function and maintaining a productive work day.10, 11 The main goal for university students is academic attainment, yet despite this, a high proportion of students report engaging in poor health behaviours during the study period.12 Australian university students are consuming less than the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables, and have a high intake of convenience foods.12, 13 To ensure students are provided best opportunity for success, it is important to understand the determinants of academic performance. It is suggested that the type and variety of foods an individual consumes has an important influence on academic outcomes.14 Diet quality has an association with academic performance, though the isolated effects are yet to be fully explored.15 The scores generated may be able to determine areas that can be improved to increase academic performance.
There are several variables
which affect diet quality and this review will focus on four major
themes which emerge repeatedly throughout the literature. These themes are:
overall diet quality, eating patterns and behaviours, fruit and vegetable
intake and convenience food intake. In order to understand how diet quality is linked to
academic performance, the literature was searched for relevant articles
released in the last ten years. An analysis of terms identified the key words
of: “student”, “university student”, “diet quality”, “health behaviour”,
“eating pattern”, “academic performance” and “academic
achievement”. These
were used across the electronic data bases of Cochrane library, Web of science,
Pubmed, CINAHL and Scopus. Although preference was given to recent articles
involving university students, the final search was expanded to incorporate sources
of all years, as well as children and adolescent population groups. The aim of
this review is to critique current literature between diet quality and university
student academic performance. Furthermore, it will assess current measures of
diet quality, and the significance of other factors that contribute towards overall
diet quality.
2.0   Diet quality
Diet is a
key behavioral risk factor that can be modified to have an impact on health.16 Free living
people consume whole foods, which contain both nutrient and non-nutrient
substances.17 Dietary
patterns have synergistic effects, which provide insights beyond the role of
nutrients and single foods.18 For
researchers, it can be difficult to quantify the diet, and any established
values should only be used as an approximation. Diet quality is a composite
measure of diet in its entirety, and involves the relationships between food
groups.7, 8 This
qualitative perspective is an alternative approach to provide more detailed
dietary information. It can give an indication to the types of food people
consume, and therefore where the nutrients are derived from. Diet quality
encompasses the central areas of dietary variety, balance, adequacy, and
moderation.19 These have
been found to contribute to a nutritious diet and can give a greater understanding
of dietary habits.
Variety and balance involve the consumption of a range of options from the food
groups, according to proportionality. Adequacy is attaining the recommended
energy intakes to meet nutrient requirements, whilst moderation is regulating
the intake of certain foods to prevent harmful effects on health (including
convenience foods that are high in sugar and fat).20
It is widely
recognised that a high quality diet should be safe, able to promote optimal
development and reduce the risk of nutritional inadequacies.6, 21 Diet
quality describes how well an
individual’s diet conforms to dietary recommendations, and this differs
according to country. Australia employs the ‘Eat for Health’ guidelines,6 which were developed through extensive research to provide
information on the types and amounts of foods needed to promote health and
wellbeing as well as reduce the risk of diet-related conditions.
The food groups in the ‘Eat for health’ guidelines consist of:
Vegetables and legumesFruitLean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu,
nuts and seeds, legumes/beansGrain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain
and/or high cereal fibre varietiesLow fat milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or
alternatives, mostly reduced fat.
2.1 Measuring diet quality
The main
tools used to measure diet quality are surveys and questionnaires.19 These are
useful for time management, easily sorting data, are relatively simple to
design and can be used on a large sample. The questions developed should be
well thought out, and it is also necessary to define serving sizes and how
often foods are consumed (such as once weekly). The chosen tool needs to
consider recall bias, and the respondent’s level of literacy skills. A number of dietary indices have been
developed, tested and validated to reflect various aspects of diet quality.7, 17 They are based on existing knowledge of optimal
dietary patterns and provide a clear nutritional benchmark. The indices vary in design from simple
tools measuring adherence to dietary recommendations, to intricate analyses of
macronutrient and micronutrient intakes. The main diet quality indices
have scored food patterns in terms of alignment with key dietary
recommendations and diversity of healthy choices within core food groups.7 Food-based indices
of diet quality are important, as they retain the complexity of foods and
permit assessments of single, as well as grouped nutrient components.
The dietary indices
which are best translated to the Australian guidelines are the Diet Quality
Index International (DGI-I), Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and the Dietary
Guideline Index (DGI). These are all validated tools and are useful in various
population groups.17 The indices
have separate nutritional components which are combined into a single ‘overall
diet quality’ score. This incorporates cut-off values or ranges for the food
groups and selected dietary variables (considered to be representative of
healthy eating).
The DQI-I was derived from the
original Diet Quality Index, and provides an effective means of cross-national
comparative work for global understanding of diet quality.22 The DQI-I provides a ‘priori’
analysis (predetermined what is ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’), as it incorporates
both nutrient and food perspectives of the diet. The index is validated in both
China and the United States, and so reflects a cross-section of cultural
attributes.22 It is an in-depth measure which investigates
multiple variables and gives a broad picture of diet quality. The DQI uses
ranges to find more associations which broadens the information gathered and
strengthens the validity of the results.23 The four aspects of a healthy diet
comprise the four main categories of the DQI-I. Firstly, there are two variety
components, which include the servings across food groups and the diversity
within them. The adequacy components use eight food types, and indicates areas in
the diet which may need to be improved, and moderation highlights areas that should
be decreased (total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, food types with
empty calories). The balance component involves calculating the macronutrient
ratio and fatty acid ratio. The scores for all four categories are summed,
resulting in the total DQI-I score, ranging from 0 to 100 (the higher the
score, the higher the diet quality).22
The HEI has
been used in several studies that evaluate food consumption. It was originally
based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but has been adapted to other
areas.24 It is
similar to the DQI, with the addition of total fruit and whole fruit, plant
proteins and seafood, and the moderation component includes refined grains.  Food group servings are evaluated on a
per-thousand-calorie basis. The scores are calculated proportionally between 0
and 10, according to how well a food group recommendation is achieved.25 The main
strength of the HEI is that it assesses diets on a given energy intake level,
to characterise diet quality while controlling for diet quantity.
The DGI was developed and predefined
to the Australian Dietary Guidelines with an adherence to specific aspects of a
healthful diet.26 However, it does not account for
all aspects of diet quality, and could be beneficial if combined with other
measures. The DGI consists of fifteen food components using standard adult
portion sizes and the score calculation is based on regular consumption of food
frequency questionnaire items. Each component contributed 0 to 10 points, where
10 indicated an optimal diet intake (meeting the recommended serves per week).
The total DGI score is the sum of the thirteen items, indicating a maximum
possible score of 130.27
Selecting a
dietary index remains a complex matter with a large degree of subjectivity. It
is important to consider whether the index is adaptable to the chosen dietary
guidelines and that it fits within the constraints of the study. The specific
context in which they are used should be noted when interpreting results and
making comparisons. The main limitation of dietary indices is that there is no
universal dietary guidelines representative of a healthful diet.7 The tools
used need to consistently be revised if they are to truly reflect the latest
nutrition science and policy.
3.0   University Students
University academic performance is measured through grade point average, which incorporates the scores from all subjects during a study period.10 Identifying the factors that contribute towards academic performance has clear implications for university students. Diet quality is a health behaviour that may improve a student’s chances of furthering their academic career.15 The rate of enrolment for Australian universities is continuing to grow, with a large percentage being young adults (18 – 34 years old).28 A high proportion of students have an increase in independency, an altered support system and are perceived to be time poor.29 University can be a highly stressful environment, where health behaviours change (health may not be a high priority).1, 30 Amongst this group, there is an increased level of socio-economic disadvantage associated with the prevailing issues of food insecurity.28 This may be related to limited resources to source and prepare healthy foods, where individual diets decline in quality due to food insecurity.31
Food choice
for university students can be influenced by their environment and can include
the primary factors of: affordability, accessibility, peer influence and nutrition
knowledge.32 Very few
young Australians are following the dietary guidelines of consuming from the
five food groups and are generally below recommended levels for fruit and
vegetable serves.13
Approximately one-tenth are meeting the daily recommended serves of vegetables,
and one-third are meeting recommended daily fruit serves.12 These
health determinants mean that the diets of university students are quite poor
and may be at risk of nutritional inadequacies. This is an issue, as it has
been shown that being undernourished negatively effects academic outcomes.31
As the
quality of food and drinks consumed have a significant impact on the health and
wellbeing of individuals, better nutrition has a potential to improve public
health outcomes. Performance management is always a concern for university administration
bodies as they aim to provide the best environment for student growth and
wellbeing. The
food environment of a university campus should encourage students to adopt a 30healthful eating pattern.15 An institution is an effective setting for intervention, as it has the structure
to bring together multiple strategies to a large
group of people. A higher level of education can positively affect future health and
employment opportunities.3 The
development of healthy behaviors that can be continued during a student’s
professional life should be strongly supported during tertiary education.
4.0   Diet quality and academic performance
is increasing evidence that nutrition behaviours have an influence on academic
performance, which in turn influences future successes.33, 34
The aim of this review is to evaluate the association between dietary quality
and academic performance in university students. However, there is a limited
amount of literature related to the population group of university students,
which is why much of the following research relates to children and adolescents
(school-aged students). Current research has established a relationship between
overall diet quality and student academic achievement.14, 35-39
Nutrition and health status have a complex and multifaceted effect on cognitive
It has been identified that moderate associations exist between several aspects
of diet quality and student performance.14, 34, 36, 38, 39, 41-43
There are a number of factors which have a direct effect on diet quality, and
therefore have been included in this review. They include a person’s habitual
eating patterns, fruit and vegetable intake, and convenience food (as well as take-away food)
The reviewed studies compared a
variety of health behaviours to determine which are most significant to student
outcomes. The majority reported statistically significant
outcomes between diet and academic performance, which is likely a result of the
relatively large numbers of participants. The results concerning dietary
components strengthened the concept that diet quality has an influence on
academic performance.
All included
research was adjusted for the modifiable and non-modifiable factors which affect
student academic performance. The studies
acknowledge that the health behaviours relating to academic work are
multifactorial, and involve several influencing variables.  
It should be
noted there were some common limitations amongst the reviewed studies. The majority
of the studies were cross-sectional in design, and were not able to determine
an independent association between diet quality and academic achievement. This
impedes any inferences that can be made about causality. It was important that
authors controlled for significant confounding factors, including attendance,
economic status, social support and family background. The nature of these
studies left open the possibility that other intervening variables may have
been related to the observed pattern of results.
4.1 Overall diet quality
Overall diet
quality was found to be associated with student academic performance. Across
all studies, dietary habits that were in accordance with guidelines were
related to better student outcomes.14, 33, 35, 37, 39, 44-46
Furthermore, an improvement in overall diet quality score increased likelihood
of an improved academic performance. Students with a high intake of ‘high
quality’ nutrient-dense foods, and a low intake of ‘low quality’ nutrient poor
foods, had increased odds of a favorable school performance.44 The
strongest outcome would be achieved through the combined effects of meeting
multiple dietary recommendations.
controlling for the key health behaviors of physical activity and weight
status, diet quality was a leading contributor to academic performance.45, 47, 48 Emerging
evidence indicates that diet quality may have the strongest correlation to high
academic achievement, though this warrants further research. The study by Florence
et al.14 on school
aged Canadian children found an independent association between diet quality
attributes and academic achievement. Furthermore, dietary adequacy and variety
were identified as specific components of diet quality which influence academic
performance. These outcomes reflect the value of consuming a diverse range of
foods from the core food groups.
The studies
with the best depth in information conducted a full assessment of diet quality,
and used a validated tool. It is difficult to make sound comparisons when
studies do not use similar diet quality parameters and scoring systems. Different
cultures have a diverse range of cuisines which means they differ in how diet
quality scores were measured. There were also vast variations in the reporting
time period for the outcome measures for frequency of food consumption and academic
nutritional intakes do not meet macronutrient and micronutrient requirements,
and this can impede on a person’s health status. Diet quality has been shown to
be important for health and wellbeing, and may be beneficial to concentration
and productivity levels.37 The
consistency of this association across various indicators of diet quality gives
emphasis to the importance of nutrition. An improvement in diet quality may be
linked to enhanced learning and outcomes beneficial to students
and institutions.
4.2 Eating patterns and behaviours
Specific eating patterns have an influence on academic
performance, as they contribute to the overall balance of a diet. It was found
that adhering to a ‘healthy’ Mediterranean style diet pattern (high in fruit,
vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil), as well as regularly
consuming three meals per day, were positively associated with academic
outcomes.37, 49-52 There is evidence that suggests habitual breakfast
intake, compared to a period of fasting, is moderately related with an improved
school performance.50, 53-59 Through a regular eating pattern, a person is more
likely to consume the recommended serves from the core food groups, which
contributes to an enhanced nutritional status.
behaviours influence the quality of a person’s diet, and generally account for
whether a person is consciously controlling what they eat. In the studies
regarding university students, eating patterns described
uncontrolled eating (food consumption is attached to emotions) or cognitive
restriction (highly controlling food intake). Overall, the results indicate
that lower levels of uncontrolled or emotional eating is associated with a
higher grade point average.34 Students
reporting to be strict dieters, with a
high amount of restrictive practices, were found to have a lower grade point
average.15 On the
other hand, the use of more ‘flexible’ cognitive restriction, which still
involves self-regulation of food intake, but has allowances for all types of
foods, may have the best indication to improving academic achievement.34
frequency of alcohol consumption is found to be negatively associated with
self-reported attendance, motivation and academic performance.15 If students
were found to be in the alcohol dependent criteria, they had an excess risk of
failing during the study period.60 High
alcohol intakes are correlated with other adverse health behaviours, such as sleep
deprivation and an increase in discretionary food consumption.11
4.3 Fruit and vegetable intake
A higher
fruit and vegetable intake is another aspect of diet quality which has a
positive relationship with academic performance. When the self-reported daily
intake of fruit and vegetables increased, there was a relatable increase in student
grade point averages.10, 33, 36, 37, 39, 41, 52, 61-64 The main
message is that an adequate fruit and vegetable intake is beneficial to health,
and a vital component to good diet quality. Although, results in this area are
inconsistent, with a small number of studies reporting no association between
consumption of fruit and vegetables and academic performance.65-67 This may be
attributed to their study design, as these may have lacked sufficient power to
detect certain effects. It was difficult to detect differences between students
when a large proportion did not meet the initial recommendations for fruit and
vegetable consumption.
4.4 Convenience foods
An increased
consumption of convenience or ‘take-away’ foods and beverages has a strong link
to poorer academic performance. There were consistent results amongst all
studies which measured these associations, as well as across all age groups. 33, 37, 39, 41, 47, 52, 65, 68-73  Convenience foods are highly refined, and generally
rich in salt, simple sugars or saturated fats, and included: sugar sweetened
beverages, confectionary items and fried foods37.Serve sizes and options for
convenience and take-away foods differed between studies, and thus
interpretations may be difficult to generalise.
Students who
frequently consumed convenience snacks were less likely to pass standardised
tests, in comparison with those who
consumed healthier options.69 Poor
dietary habits are shown to be a significant predictor of health and weight
status, which contribute towards school performance.52 Even a
moderate reduction in convenience food intake may lessen the negative influence
it has on academic performance.  Current
recommendations advise that discretionary foods should only be included in a
diet once the other food group recommendations are met, to ensure that a high
proportion of a person’s energy intake is comprised of nutritious sources.6 They should
only be considered in the diet in moderation, with the consumption of foods
from the core food groups being the priority. 
5.0   Conclusion
The findings from this review
indicate that there is a positive association between diet quality and student
academic performance. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that this is a dose-response
relationship, as the higher the diet quality score, the higher the effect on
academic outcomes. Diet quality and variety involve food groups and how a
dietary pattern aligns with national recommendations. Several variables which impact on diet quality were investigated
and shown to also be associated with academic performance.
number of gaps in the literature have been identified throughout this review. Research
in this area is still developing, and there are limitations of the published
research investigating the relationship between diet and academic outcomes. It
is yet to be determined what specific aspects of diet quality have the greatest
effect on student performance. Further investigation is needed to establish if the
components of overall diet quality, variety, adequacy, balance and moderation have
an independent relationship with academic performance. Longitudinal research is
necessary to compare these associations over time. Public health investigations
should consider whether interventions aiming at promoting healthy dietary
behaviours could have a positive impact on academic performance.
To date, there have been no
studies regarding diet quality and academic performance at Australian
universities. It is unknown how dietary intake influences a university student
population group, as their stage in life and lifestyle differs from other
student populations. Implications from this research support the broader
implementation of effective university nutrition programs that aim to improve
student’s diet quality, academic performance, and, in the long term, their
health. They highlight the importance of promoting good dietary patterns, especially
increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, whilst decreasing convenience food
intake. The cumulative effect of dietary
behaviours on academic performance emphasise the importance of an improved
university environment.
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Critique of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food Diet Book

Diet Book Critique

In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan


 It has long since been recognized that the Western diet has caused a dramatic increase in obesity rates in the United States. With processed and fast foods becoming the standard in this country, Michael Pollan argues in his documentary, In Defense of Food, that getting to the bottom of eating in a more healthful way is actually more simple than people realize. His guidelines for eating comes in three parts: eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Pollan goes in depth in each part of his claim and provides examples from society as to how each part of his claim has helped people to lower their risk of non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. This in depth explanation of each claim largely mirrors the United States Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Pollan also defines what he considers to be food, and what he calls “food-like products”. In this literature review, the validity of Pollan’s three-part claim will be investigated using scientific evidence. In doing so, this review will support Pollan’s claim that eating by his guidelines will help to lower these risk of non-communicable diseases, when compared with the traditional Western diet.

 Claim 1: Eat Food.

 The first claim of Pollan’s guidelines is to eat food. Pollan defines food as what are traditionally considered whole foods, such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and grains. These are foods that will eventually rot and have been cooked by humans, rather than produced in a factory (Pollan, M., 2015). What Pollan considers “food-like products” are processed foods that have long ingredient lists, a long shelf life, and health claims presented on the packaging. It also includes junk foods and fast food. Pollan explains that the health claims on the packaging of foods can lead to confusion for consumers, as it breaks down the food itself into its nutrient components. Over the years, various nutrients have been labelled as “evil”, while others have been glorified. It can be difficult for consumers to keep up with the latest denominations, causing confusion and allowing companies to manipulate consumers’ decisions. They may believe that they are purchasing something healthy based on a health claim on the package, without knowing that the product may have added sugar that is not advertised on the front of the box.

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 A comprehensive review performed by Dariush Mozaffarian, MD DrPH examines the effect of dietary patterns on the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Mozaffarian explains that focusing on specific nutrients, rather than the food and makeup of the diet as a whole, can lead to an increased cardiometabolic risk. The study goes on to explain that a food-based approach, rather than nutrient-based, can help consumers to make better choices when shopping, and lessen the manipulation by food companies (Mozaffarian, D., 2016). Additionally, the study provides evidence that cardiometabolic diseases are influenced more by foods and diet as a whole, rather than by specific nutrients. This type of approach can also help consumers better understand and adhere to the recommendations from health professionals, as well as tailor their diet to their own preferences. It puts nutrition in terms of food, rather than nutrients they cannot see that can be difficult to understand and calculate. Mozaffarian also explains the potential harms of processed foods. When foods are processed as heavily as has become the standard, nutrients such as fiber, fatty acids, phenolics and various vitamins and minerals can be lost, while sugars, sodium, and trans fats have been added (Mozaffarian, D., 2016). These additions, compounded with the removal of essential nutrients, lowers the nutritional value of the product. A prime example of this is white bread, which has the bran and germ parts of the grain removed. The bran and germ are the components of the grain which contain the most vitamins and minerals, but they are removed because they reduce the shelf life of the bread. Overall this study was unlikely to have any bias, it was representative of the population discussed, and its conclusions were supported by results with limitations taken into consideration.

 A study done by Yoona Kim, Jennifer Keogh and Peter Clifton discussed the effects of a red/processed meat and refined grain meal versus a meal consisting of dairy, chicken, nuts and whole grains on glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels (Kim, Y., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M., 2016). In this randomized crossover study, fifty-one participants completed two meal tests. They were over the age of eighteen and without type 2 diabetes. They had not gained or lost and a significant amount of weight over the previous three months, and were asked not to change their lifestyle and to maintain their body weight for the duration of the study. Participants were instructed specifically what to eat for four weeks, specific to their body mass index (BMI) and gender. Intakes were periodically collected throughout the study to ensure adherence to their respective diets. Researchers who carried out data analysis and measurements of blood samples were blinded as to which group the participants were a part of. After an overnight fast following the four week diet period, each group crossed over for a meal from the other group for a meal tolerance test (MTT). This was done twice, with a three week washout period of the participants usual diets before switching the groups’ respective instructed meal plans. The results from each round of dieting and MTT were consistent with the authors’ hypothesis. A meal of red meat and refined grains after a four week period of a diet similar to this resulted in elevated insulin and incremental glucose responses when compared with the dairy, chicken, nuts and whole grain meal (Kim, Y., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M., 2016). This is consistent with the increased insulin resistance observed in adults with pre-diabetes. In conclusion, these researchers found that a diet consisting of red/processed meat and refined grains lead to increased insulin resistance and blood glucose levels, similar to those of a pre-diabetic state. This article explained all withdrawals from the study, as well as the limitations of the study. Their conclusion was supported by their results, was unlikely to hold any bias, and appropriately blinded their data collection. This study supports Pollan’s claim of a diet consisting of processed foods, such as red meat and refined grains, leading to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases, specifically type 2 diabetes.


Claim 2: Not Too Much.

 Pollan’s second claim of not eating too much is intuitive in that overeating can be detrimental to one’s health. Increased calorie consumption can lead to weight gain, and eventually obesity. The study performed by King Sun Leong BMedSci, MRCP and John Wilding DM, MRCP, showed the correlation between obesity and diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Leong, K. S., & Wilding, J. P., 1999). These researchers found that plasma leptin, tumor necrosis factor-α and non-esterified fatty acids are elevated as a result of obesity, and are influential to developing insulin resistance. Additionally, they found that with a reduction of obesity, diabetic glycemic control and insulin resistance improve (Leong, K. S., & Wilding, J. P. 1999). Generally, this study supports Pollan’s claim by depicting a significant increase in risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease when a patient is obese.

 Pollan advises his viewers to “eat more like the French do”, in the way that they eat their meals more slowly, in order to avoid overeating.  He explains that not eating too much does not have to necessarily be restrictive, but instead can be achieved by changing the manner in which food is eaten. Essentially, Pollan is saying that not eating too much can be achieved if the meal is simply eaten at a slower rate. A study performed in 2015 by Danielle Ferriday, et al, found that the rate at which a meal is consumed does have an effect on satiation levels. Forty participants, with an equal distribution of men and women, were recruited and were blinded as to the true purpose of the study. They were divided into groups to follow a fast or slow eating rate condition. The participants were given tomato soup through a tube that was connected to a pump that administered the soup to them at a specific rate dependent on which group they were in. They were unable to see the pump, or the reservoir in which the soup was contained. The tube feeding was explained to participants in a way that would not reveal the intention of the study. Each participant consumed 400 mL of tomato soup. For those in the group following a fast eating condition, the pump switched between two seconds of soup administration and four seconds of inactivity. For the group following the slow eating condition, the pump alternated between one second of soup administration and ten seconds of inactivity. Three hours following this procedure, participants were offered biscuits and chocolate chip cookies, and were free to consume as much as they desired to assess ad libitum snack food intake. After ten minutes, the cookies and biscuits were removed and analyzed for calorie consumption by each participant. Participants were asked to complete a survey before the session, immediately after consumption of the soup, two hours after the consumption of the soup, and following the consumption of the biscuits and cookies. As part of the survey, the participants rated their hunger and thirst levels (Ferriday, D., et al, 2015) .

 At the start of the experiment, the two groups had no significant difference in the time since their last meal, or feeling of fullness, as well as other factors that were polled as part of the survey. The average recorded meal time for the fast eating group was 203 seconds, where the average meal time for the slow eating group was 800 seconds. Immediately following soup consumption, the group that ate at a slower rate reported a significantly higher change in fullness from the start of the experiment, when compared to the group that ate at a faster rate. This was true for each of the next two times the survey was completed as well, which was both before the snack administration and after the snack administration. Overall, the group that ate more slowly reported feeling more satiated both immediately after the meal, and two hours after the meal was consumed (Ferriday, D., et al, 2015). The study properly blinded its participants to avoid bias, their outcomes were clearly defined and measurements were valid and reliable. The intervention factors were clear and there were no withdrawals from the study. This study therefore supports Pollan’s claim that eating more slowly can help to promote satiety both immediately following the meal and throughout the day, leading to lower calorie consumption on a daily basis.


Claim 3: Mostly Plants.

 Pollan’s third and final guideline to eating in such a way that will lower one’s risk of non-communicable diseases is to consume mostly plants at each meal. He suggests eating a variety of plants, varying in color to achieve maximal range of vitamins and minerals. The image that he provides for his guidelines directly mirrors that of MyPlate, which is administered by the USDA, as shown below (USDA, 2015). MyPlate is a tool used by the USDA to provide consumers with a comprehensive visual of what each meal should be comprised of, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. These guidelines were created through evidence based research done by the USDA.


  A study done in support of the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans explored the various health benefits associated with fruits, vegetables and legumes in a review of various epidemiologic studies. Overall they found that dietary fiber from this food group lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Additionally, they found that other nutrients in fruits and vegetables, such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals all support health and reduce the risk of the aforementioned non-communicable diseases (Slavin, J. L., & Lloyd, B., 2012). This study depicted its inclusion and exclusion factors for studies they reviewed, as well as supported their conclusions with results from each study. It is therefore in support of Pollan’s claim that eating mostly plants can help to improve health and lower risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity.

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 A prospective cohort study was performed by Earl Ford, MD, MPH and Ali Mokdad, PhD, to examine the association between type 2 diabetes incidence and fruit and vegetable consumption. They followed a sample of 9,665 participants, aged 25-74 for twenty years. Of the 9,665 participants, 1,018 developed type 2 diabetes. After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, use of antihypertensive medication, serum cholesterol concentration, BMI, recreational and non-recreational exercise, and alcohol consumption, the researchers found that the percentage of participants who consumed five or more fruits and vegetables in a day was significantly lower in the participants who developed type 2 diabetes (Ford, E. S., & Mokdad, A. H., 2001). This article concludes that the consumption of fruits and vegetables was inversely associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes. All lifestyle variables were accounted for, and there is little evidence as to any bias due to funding. The conclusions of this article are supported by their results, and their study groups were representative of the population. All statistical analyses were appropriate for the experiment, and outcomes were clearly defined, valid and reliable. This study is therefore of good quality, and helps to support Pollan’s claim of eating mostly plants at each meal having an impact on lowering risk of type 2 diabetes.


 Throughout this literature review, many studies have been brought to light that support each part of Pollan’s guidelines to healthy eating: Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.They have shown that eating whole foods, rather than processed foods, can lead to a decreased risk of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This is done through a better understanding from consumers of what a healthy diet is comprised of in terms of food groups, rather than specific nutrients, as well as showing the harmful effects of eating processed foods. Additionally, these studies have shown that lowering calorie consumption can help to lower risk of the previously mentioned non-communicable diseases, and provided evidence for increased levels of satiation due to a slower rate of eating. Finally, these studies supported the claim that a diet of mostly plants can increase intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber in order to maintain health and, again, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. It can therefore be concluded that Pollan’s guidelines are valid in their claim of improving overall health and reducing the risk of these non-communicable diseases. 




Ferriday, D., Bosworth, M. L., Lai, S., Godinot, N., Martin, N., Martin, A. A., … Brunstrom, J. M. (2015). Effects of eating rate on satiety: A role for episodic memory? Physiology & Behavior, 152(Pt B), 389–396. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.06.038

Ford, E. S., & Mokdad, A. H. (2001). Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Diabetes Mellitus Incidence among U.S. Adults. Preventive Medicine, 32(1), 33–39. https://doi.org/10.1006/pmed.2000.0772

Kim, Y., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2016). Differential Effects of Red Meat/Refined Grain Diet and Dairy/Chicken/Nuts/Whole Grain Diet on Glucose, Insulin and Triglyceride in a Randomized Crossover Study. Nutrients, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8110687

Leong, K. S., & Wilding, J. P. (1999). Obesity and diabetes. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 13(2), 221–237. https://doi.org/10.1053/beem.1999.0017

Mozaffarian, D. (2016). Dietary and Policy Priorities for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Obesity – A Comprehensive Review. Circulation, 133(2), 187–225. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018585

Pollan, M. (2015). In Defense of Food. Netflix. Retrieved from https://www.netflix.com/watch/80097071?tctx=0%2C0%2C3c5c14f0-cf73-4cb4-8826-a37c79723f2a-79675857%2C%2C

Slavin, J. L., & Lloyd, B. (2012). Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Advances in Nutrition, 3(4), 506–516. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.002154

USDA. 2015. “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.” 8. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf.

Relationship Between Diet Drinks and Cancer

Diet Choices Can Affect Your Risk of Developing Cancer

 Multiple different cancers are up there with the leading causes of death worldwide, and the number of new cases is expected to go up considerably over the next twenty years. At the same time, all types of cancer treatment, whether it be surgery, chemo-therapy, or pharmacological therapy, are evolving in composure, strength and in the accuracy to target specific characteristics of individual cancers. Thus, while many types of cancers may still not be cured, they may be converted to chronic diseases. Most of these treatments, however, are blocked or halted by the all too frequent development of malnutrition and metabolic disorders in cancer patients, induced by the tumor or even sometimes by its treatment. There is increasing evidence that would suggest certain dietary habits can increase or decrease cancer risk. Not just that, nutrition is thought by researchers to make a big difference in treating and learning to cope with cancer as well.

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 There isn’t any single miracle food out there that can make you immune to cancer, but studies have shown that changing your diet to reflect a healthier lifestyle can reduce your chances of developing this horrible illness. The National Center for Biotechnology Information says, “It has been estimated that 30-40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone.” (Donaldson). There are many foods to be added to a person’s diet to make them less likely to develop cancer in their lifetime, some of these are generally good choices to prevent all types of cancers, while some have been shown to protect against specific cancers. Observational studies by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics have connected a higher consumption of vegetables with a decreased risk of cancer; this is supported by the fact that many vegetables contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals (“Fruits, vegetables and lung cancer risk”). For instance, cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower contain a chemical compound called sulforaphane, a substance that has been shown by the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh to reduce tumor size in mice by more than 50% (“Sulforaphane induces caspase-mediated apoptosis”). Other vegetables, for example carrots and tomatoes, have been connected to a reduced risk of lung, prostate and stomach cancer. Much like vegetables, fruits contain antioxidants and other phytochemicals, which could help prevent cancer. A small study by the Department of Preventive Medicine at a University in Korea found that just three servings of citrus fruits every week could reduce stomach cancer risk by up to 28% (“Citrus fruit intake”). Flaxseeds have been long associated with defensive effects against certain cancers and may even reduce the speed at which the cancer spreads. For example, a study by the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at the University of Texas found that men suffering of prostate cancer taking 30 grams of ground flaxseed daily indeed experienced slower cancer growth and spread than another group that hadn’t done so, similar results were found in women with breast cancer (“Flaxseed supplementation”). There are many other foods that can protect against development of cancer, certain spices like cinnamon and turmeric, certain beans, legumes, nuts, olive oil, garlic, fish, and dairy products can all decrease your risk of developing certain cancers in your lifetime.

While there are many foods that can decrease your chances of developing certain cancers, there are also many foods that can increase your likelihood. While it’s beyond difficult to outright prove that specific foods cause cancer, scientific studies have always indicated that a high concentration of certain foods may increase an individual’s likelihood of developing cancer in their lifetime. Processed foods that are often high in sugar content and relatively lower in nutrients and fiber have been found to increase cancer risk, scientific researchers in Italy have concluded that a diet which increases blood glucose levels in high concentration is associated with an increased risk of several cancers, including colorectal, stomach, and breast cancers (“Glycemic index”). A study in Italy of over 47,000 adults found that those who chose to consume a diet higher in refined carbohydrates were nearly two times as likely to die from colon cancer as those who chose to eat a diet lower in refined carbs (“Dietary glycemic”). The risk of an individual with diabetes to develop colorectal cancer is twenty-two percent higher than other individuals, to protect against cancer, it’s imperative to avoid foods that make insulin levels spike. The International Agency for Research on Cancer sees processed meat as a carcinogen, ‘carcinogen’ is a term for something that causes cancer (“Carcinogenicity of consumption”). ‘Processed meat’ refers to meat that has been heavily treated to preserve flavor by undergoing salting, curing or smoking. This category includes hot dogs, ham, bacon, chorizo, salami and even some deli meats. Observational studies have found a link between individuals consuming high volumes of processed meat and a heightened cancer risk, in particular, colorectal cancer. A substantial review of many studies in France found that people who chose to eat large amounts of processed meat had a twenty to fifty-percent increased risk of colorectal cancer when compared to those who chose to eat very little or none of this type of food (“Processed meat and colorectal cancer”). Some recent studies have also connected high volumes of red meat consumption to a heightened cancer risk; however, it’s been found that these studies don’t often distinguish figures between processed meat and unprocessed red meat, which can often skew results. It’s believed by scientists that evidence of red meat alone increasing cancer risk is weak at best, however it’s been found that preparing certain foods at high temperatures, for example grilling, frying, sautéing, broiling and/or barbequing, can sometimes produce harmful compounds called heterocyclic amines. Excess buildup of these harmful compounds in the digestive tract can be a contributor to inflammation and could be a large factor in the development of cancer as well as other diseases. Specific foods, such as animal products that are high in fat and protein, as well as highly processed foods, have an increased risk of producing these harmful amines when introduced to high temperatures. These can include margarine, butter, meat, fried eggs, certain cheeses, mayonnaise, as well as some oils and nuts.

 While the foods previously stated have been shown to reduce or increase risk of developing cancer, there are also foods that people who have already developed cancer can eat to increase their likelihood of shaking the illness, or to ease the symptoms. Malnutrition and muscle degeneration are very common in people with cancer, these have a harshly negative impact on health and survival. As stated before, there is no diet that has been proven to cure cancer, adequate nutrition is a vital component to keeping the body strong enough to aid traditional cancer treatments, improve quality of life in the individual, minimize unpleasant symptoms and assist in recovery. Most people who have developed cancer are urged by doctors to stick to a healthy, balanced diet that often includes a healthy amount of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as one that limits or cuts out any risk factors, such as sugar, caffeine, salt, processed foods and alcohol. A study at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom found that a diet that consists mostly of high-quality calories and proteins may assist in reducing muscle atrophy (“Understanding the mechanisms”). Good sources of protein include fish, beans, nuts, seeds, chicken, eggs, and some dairy products. Some side effects of cancer, and sometimes its treatment, can make it difficult for the individual suffering with the illness to eat. Some of these include nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, taste changes, and trouble swallowing. It’s terrible to think about how hard it is to live with such an affliction. In addition, those diagnosed with cancer should avoid taking too many vitamins, as they can act as antioxidants and can sometimes interfere with chemotherapy when taken in large doses.

 Cancer has been and still is a leading cause of death worldwide, with new studies coming to light every year it’s highly likely that more foods will be found with preventative properties against cancer, as well as more risk foods will be found that increase risk of developing cancer. It’s very important for cancer patients to stay healthy and not let themselves wither away, the studies mentioned show that a healthy diet while afflicted with this horrible illness can do wonders when paired with chemotherapy and other treatment options. The information out there about cancer in relation to the food we eat is ever-evolving, but for now it’s known through many studies and observations, that food can affect your likelihood of developing cancer, be that in a positive or negative way.

Works Cited

Augustin, L S, et al. “Glycemic Index and Load and Risk of Upper Aero-Digestive Tract Neoplasms (Italy).” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14575363.

Bae, J M, et al. “Citrus Fruit Intake and Stomach Cancer Risk: a Quantitative Systematic Review.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18373174.

Bouvard, V, et al. “Carcinogenicity of Consumption of Red and Processed Meat.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26514947.

Demark-Wahnefried, W, et al. “Flaxseed Supplementation (Not Dietary Fat Restriction) Reduces Prostate Cancer Proliferation Rates in Men Presurgery.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19064574.

Fearon, K, et al. “Understanding the Mechanisms and Treatment Options in Cancer Cachexia.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23207794.

Works Cited (Cont’d)

Sieri, S, et al. “Dietary Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: Results from the EPIC-Italy Study.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 June 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25403784.

Singh, A V, et al. “Sulforaphane Induces Caspase-Mediated Apoptosis in Cultured PC-3 Human Prostate Cancer Cells and Retards Growth of PC-3 Xenografts in Vivo.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14514658/.

Vieira, A R, et al. “Fruits, Vegetables and Lung Cancer Risk: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26371287.