Lesson 1 : Historical Development and the Relation of Nutrition to Health, Growth and Human Welfare
Nutrition and Health
An adequate diet should contain liberal amount of protein-rich and protective foods and should supply all the dietary essentials in the required amounts.
Diet surveys carried out in western countries have shown that the diets contain large amounts of protein – rich foods such as milk, eggs, meat and fish and provide all the nutrients in adequate amounts. Therefore the rate of growth of children and the nutritional status of the population are very good.
The diets consumed by a large majority of the population in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are based mainly on energy yielding foods and contain only small amounts of protective and protein-rich foods. Such diets are deficient in proteins, certain vitamins and minerals.A fair section of the population also does not get enough food to eat and their diets are deficient in calories.
The rate of growth of children in the developing countries is poor. The children are malnourished, emaciated and stunted. The incidence of protein-calorie malnutrition, vitamin Adeficiency and anemia is quite high among weaned infants and pre-school children.
Health: Health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations as the “state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity “. Intake of a diet containing the essential nutrients in correct amounts is very important to maintain good health.