We live in
a country of excess and consumption. Huge SUVs, super-sized burgers and
super-sized people. One might assume our only nutritional concern is indulgence, but not so.
Beyond diet related conditions such as obesity, diabetes and
atherosclerosis, many people in the United States suffer from single or multiple nutritional
deficiencies. Some, surprising as it might sound, suffer with what might
be termed general undernutrition.
And, as we are often reminded, the state of nutrition in
the developing world is fast reaching apocalyptic proportions.
But all problems of nutrition, whether excessive
intake, deficiency, or increased need, have some underlying cause. It's
cause, mechanism and evaluation of nutritional problems that this unit
will focus on.
Let's start by trying to define adequate
nutrition. It's not as easy as you might think.
- It varies with age, growth rate,
state of health and whether one is pregnant or not.
- It should provide adequate energy in the
form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
- It must contain essential and nonessential
amino acids and fatty acids.
- It must contain adequate amounts and varieties
of vitamins and minerals.
Unfortunately, nutritional status is not
always on the mind of the practitioner or caregiver. When we think of nutrition, a
number of things should be