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Biology LibreTexts

4: Nutrition

  • Page ID
    16738
  • This chapter describes nutrients, nutrient needs, and healthy eating to achieve good nutrition. It also discusses eating disorders, problems of obesity and malnutrition, and causes and prevention of foodborne diseases.

    • 4.1: Case Study: Fueling Our Bodies Properly
      What does this nutritional information mean? As you read this chapter, you will learn about the nutrients your body needs to function and stay healthy, and how eating too much or too little of certain nutrients can wreak havoc on your health. You will learn how to interpret the tables above, and will better understand the health consequences of a diet that is heavy in typical fast food items.
    • 4.2: Nutrients
      Nutrients are substances the body needs for energy, building materials, and control of body processes. There are six major classes of nutrients based on biochemical properties: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, water, vitamins, and minerals. Fiber, which consists largely of nondigestible carbohydrates, is sometimes added as the seventh class of nutrients.
    • 4.3: Healthy Eating
      Healthy eating is a panacea for many human ailments. A healthy diet reduces risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. Not surprisingly, it also extends the length of life. In fact, an unhealthy diet is one of the leading preventable causes of death. A healthy diet also has mental health benefits. It may stall or reduce the risk of dementia and have a positive effect on memory.
    • 4.4: Eating Disorders
      Eating disorders are mental health disorders defined by abnormal eating habits that adversely affect health. Eating disorders typically begin during late childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. In developed countries such as the United States, they occur in about 4 percent of people and are much more common in females than males. In developing countries, they are less common but increasing in frequency. Eating disorders are serious diseases and can even be fatal.
    • 4.5: Obesity
      Obesity is a disease in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it is likely to have negative effects on health. Obesity is commonly diagnosed on the basis of the body mass index (BMI). BMI is an estimate of body fatness based on a person's weight relative to his or her height. BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by the square of the person's height (in meters).
    • 4.6: Undernutrition
      Undernutrition is defined as insufficient intake of nutritious foods. People who are undernourished are likely to have low body fat reserves, so one indicator of undernutrition in individuals is a low body mass index (BMI). Adults are considered underweight if their body mass index (BMI) is less than 18.5 kg/m2. Children are considered underweight if their BMI is less than the 5th percentile of the reference values for children of the same age.
    • 4.7: Foodborne Diseases
      Foodborne disease, commonly called food poisoning, is any disease that is transmitted via food. Picnic foods create a heightened risk of foodborne disease mainly because of problems with temperature control. If hot foods are not kept hot enough or cold foods are not kept cold enough, foods may enter a temperature range in which microorganisms such as bacteria can thrive.
    • 4.8: Case Study Fast Food Conclusion and Chapter Summary
      What is wrong with fast food? That is the question that Carlos, who you read about in the beginning of the chapter, asked himself after learning that his friend Kevin eats it five or six times a week, and thinks that this diet is not necessarily that bad for him.