Who Can Benefit from Health Nutrition?

A healthy diet provides energy and the nutrients needed to support growth and development, good health and lower risk of disease.

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Having adequate protein is also important.

Adults who maintain healthy eating habits throughout life can help themselves enjoy optimal health nutrition. The nutrients in a well-balanced diet are important for every age and stage of life. Adults can use health nutrition to help lower their risk for chronic diseases and manage existing conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or arthritis.

Adult men and women have lower calorie needs than children and adolescents, but may need similar or increased amounts of some nutrients, especially potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin D, folate, and zinc. Their needs for protein, dietary fiber, vitamins C and K, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin are also important. Some adults benefit from daily multivitamin supplements, but it is always best to get nutrients from foods first.

Some people develop poor eating habits during childhood and adolescence that follow them into adulthood, contributing to unhealthy weight gain or chronic diseases later in life. Healthy eating is especially important for older adults who have a greater risk of diseases that can affect appetite and nutrient intake, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression. They can help themselves by maintaining a healthy body weight, increasing physical activity, and eating a variety of nutritious foods. They should also limit sugary foods and drinks, salt-containing condiments, and processed meats. In addition, they should continue to be aware of their nutrient needs, particularly vitamin D and calcium, which they can obtain from a combination of healthy foods such as seafood, fortified milk and cereals, beans, peas, tofu, and some fruits and vegetables.

What children eat and drink during early childhood can have lasting impact on their health. Good nutrition helps children achieve their full potential, grow up healthy, avoid childhood diseases and develop into active adults. It also provides them with the energy they need to stay physically fit and learn well.

Children need a wide range of nutrients for their growing bodies, including protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. It is important to encourage them to eat foods from all food groups, particularly vegetables and fruit. They should also choose low-fat, low-sugar and low-salt drinks. Children’s appetites vary so it is important to offer them appropriate-sized portions.

School age children are a group of people that can benefit from a behavioural change programme that focuses on improving their eating habits. This is because the school environment can provide an opportunity for an intervention to reach a large number of young people at one time.

A recent study looked at the effects of an intervention based on the Transtheoretical Model in grade 6 students. It evaluated 157 children, who were involved in the PHS-pro programme, for the entire year. These children were evaluated using a baseline evaluation (FR0) and two or more 3-day food records applied over the intervention period. Despite the limited sample size, a significant change was observed for vegetable soup consumption and a non-significant change for fried food intake.

Nutrition is a key component to a healthy lifestyle and can help prevent certain diseases in seniors. Eating a nutritious diet that includes foods such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals can help seniors maintain a healthy weight and may prevent some diseases like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

In addition, eating a healthy diet can help prevent conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Many seniors have difficulty preparing their own meals and can benefit from health nutrition programs that offer food delivery services to help them stay well.

Nutrient-rich meals are vital to overall health and reduce medical costs by lowering the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. However, many seniors face barriers in obtaining healthy foods including financial constraints, living far from grocery stores (known as food deserts), lack of transportation and/or a limited cooking ability.

To promote healthy eating and address these issues, many health plans are now offering supplemental benefits such as medically tailored meals, grocery allowances and produce prescriptions. These food programs are part of the growing “Food as Medicine” movement and can make a significant impact in member satisfaction and retention. To learn more about how these programs can improve the quality of life for seniors, watch our latest Medline Newsroom video.

Pregnant women
Pregnancy is a time of many physical changes and emotional ups and downs. It’s important for women to eat well and get plenty of exercise during pregnancy. They should also get prenatal care from a doctor or midwife. Prenatal care helps women have healthy babies and gives them a better chance of having a full-term delivery.

In most cultures, pregnant women are given special treatment and care. Some of this care is rooted in traditional medicine or religion. However, in many cases, cultural expectations exert pressure on pregnant women to produce a son and heir. This can lead to mental health problems for the mother.

A healthy diet for pregnant women includes protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. It should also include moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as a brisk walk, each week. Talk to your health care provider about safe exercise during pregnancy.

The most important nutrient for pregnant women is iron, which is needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the fetus and other body tissues. Your doctor may recommend a prenatal vitamin that contains the right amount of folic acid, which is also important for the baby’s brain and spinal cord development. Avoid foods high in mercury, which can harm the fetus. Limit beverages that have added sugars, such as soda, fruit drinks, and energy or sports drinks.