Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z




Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z examines the relationship between food and health on a historical, national and personal level. It analyzes how nutrition has affected quality of life, health and fitness in various countries at different times in history.

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1. Additives and Preservatives
Additives are defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as "any substance, the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of any food." In other words, an additive is any substance that is added to food. Direct additives are those that are intentionally added to foods for a specific purpose. Indirect additives are those to which the food is exposed during processing, packaging, or storing. Preservatives are additives that inhibit the growth of , yeasts, and molds in foods. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
2. Adolescent Nutrition
Adolescence is the transition period between childhood and adulthood, a time of life that begins at . For girls, puberty typically occurs between ages 12 and 13, while for boys it occurs between ages 14 and 15. It is one of the fastest growth periods of a person's life. During this time, physical changes affect the body's nutritional needs, while changes in one's lifestyle may affect eating habits and food choices. Nutritional health during adolescence is important for supporting the growing body and for preventing future health problems. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
3. Adult Nutrition
The science of is dedicated to learning about foods that the human body requires at different stages of life in order to meet the nutritional needs for proper growth, as well as to maintain health and prevent disease. A baby is born with a very high requirement for and intake per unit of body weight to provide for rapid growth. The rate of growth is the highest during the first year and declines slowly after the age of two, with a corresponding decrease in nutrient and energy requirements. During , however, increase sharply until this period of fast growth is completed. Adulthood begins at about the age of fourteen or fifteen for girls, and eighteen or nineteen for boys. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
4. African Americans, Diet of
The 2000 U.S. Census revealed that there were almost 35 million African Americans, or about 13 percent of the total U.S. population. This small percentage of the populace has had a significant influence on American cuisine, not only because African-American food is diverse and flavorful, but also because of its historical beginnings. Despite their cultural, political, economic, and racial struggles, African Americans have retained a strong sense of their culture, which is, in part, reflected in their food. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
5. Africans, Diets of
Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is rich in geographic and cultural . It is a land populated by peoples with histories dating to ancient times and cultures shaped by innumerable tribes, languages, and traditions. Because it is the birthplace of and the land of origin for much of the world's population, the culture of food and eating in the different regions of Africa is important to people throughout the world. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
6. Aging and Nutrition
Aging Americans will make up an unprecedented proportion of the population as the 78 million baby boomers reach age 50. The baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, will first reach age 65 in 2011, transforming the 35 million people over age 65 in 2000 to an estimated 69 million by 2030. With improved health care, , and health behaviors, people 85 and over are expected to be the fastest-growing group of elderly persons, tripling from 4 million in 2000 to about 14 million by 2040. Growth in the elderly population has led to two subgroups: the young-old (55 to 74 years) and the old-old (75 and older). Still, elderly people remain the most diverse segment of American society. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
7. Alcohol and Health
Alcohol is a central-nervous-system depressant that affects judgment, coordination, and inhibition. Mild alcohol intoxication causes a relaxed and carefree feeling, as well as the loss of inhibitions. After several drinks a person will exhibit impaired judgment, poor coordination, and slurred speech, while consumption of alcohol in large amounts can lead to coma and even death. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in a person's blood. Most states consider a person to be legally drunk at a BAC between .08 and .10. At a BAC level of .40 to .50, a person may go into a coma, while a BAC level of .60 to .70 will cause death. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
8. Allergies and Intolerances
Food affect approximately 3 percent of children and 1 percent of adults in the United States. It is estimated that an even larger percentage of the population experiences problems with food intolerance. Worldwide, adverse reactions to food constitute a significant public health issue. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
9. Alternative Medicines and Therapies
Alternatives to conventional medical care are increasingly popular in the United States, and their growing use by consumers represents a major trend in Western medicine. Alternative therapies appear to be used most frequently for medical conditions that are , such as back pain, , sleep disorders, headache, and digestive problems. Surveys of U.S. consumers have shown that more people visit alternative practitioners each year than visit conventional primary-care physicians. Consumers do not necessarily reject conventional medicine, however. Many simply feel that alternative modalities offer complementary approaches that are more in line with their personal health philosophies. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
10. American Dietetic Association
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) was founded in 1917, and its stated mission is to "promote optimal and well-being for all people by advocating for its members" (ADA). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
11. American Public Health Association
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is an association of individuals and organizations working to improve the public's health and to achieve equity in health status for all. Founded in 1872, APHA is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world. APHA members represent over fifty occupations of public health, including physicians, nurses, health educators, community dietitians, social workers, environmentalists, epidemiologists, and others. Members advocate for policies and practices that assure a healthy global society, emphasize health promotion and disease prevention, and seek to protect environmental and community health by addressing issues such as pollution control, and , and the availability of professional education in public health. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
12. American School Food Service Association
The American School Food Service Association (ASFSA), founded in 1946, is dedicated to ensuring that "healthful meals and nutrition education are available to all children." Its stated mission is "to advance good nutrition for all children" (ASFSA). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
13. American School Health Association
The American School Health Association (ASHA) was founded in 1927 by physicians who were members of the American Public Health Association. The main focus of the ASHA is to safeguard the health of school-age children. Over the years it has evolved into a multidisciplinary organization of administrators, counselors, dentists, health educators, physical educators, school nurses, and school physicians that advocates high-quality school health instruction, health services, and a healthful school . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
14. Amino Acids
are the building blocks of . The body has twenty different amino acids that act as these building blocks. Nonessential amino acids are those that the body can synthesize for itself, provided there is enough nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and available. Essential amino acids are those supplied by the , since the human body either cannot make them at all or cannot make them in sufficient quantity to meet its needs. Under normal conditions, eleven of the amino acids are nonessential and nine are essential. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
15. Anemia
affects more than 30 percent of the world's population, and it is one of the most important worldwide health problems. It has a significant in both developing and industrialized nations. Causes of anemia include , particularly of , vitamin B, and (folic acid); excess blood loss from menstruation or illness and infection; ingestion of toxic substances, such as lead, ethanol, and other compounds; and abnormalities such as and . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
16. Anorexia Nervosa
is an characterized by an extreme reduction in food intake leading to potentially life-threatening weight loss. This syndrome is marked by an intense, irrational fear of weight gain or excess body fat, accompanied by a distorted perception of body weight and shape. The onset is usually in the middle to late teens and is rarely seen in females over age forty. Among women of menstruating age with this disorder, is common. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
17. Anthropometric Measurements
The term refers to comparative measurements of the body. Anthropometric measurements are used in nutritional assessments. Those that are used to assess growth and development in infants, children, and adolescents include length, height, weight, weight-for-length, and head circumference (length is used in infants and toddlers, rather than height, because they are unable to stand). Individual measurements are usually compared to reference standards on a growth chart. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
18. Antioxidants
Americans spend several billion dollars a year on in an effort to improve their health. Science has been looking at antioxidants and their role in everything from preventing and to boosting the and slowing the aging process. Antioxidants provide a layer of protection for the cells and tissues of the body, just as a thick coat of wax helps protect a car's finish. Specifically, antioxidants protect against free radical damage. What are ? read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
19. Appetite
Why do many people desire ice cream and pie or some other rich dessert after eating a huge Thanksgiving dinner? This desire is referred to as which is not the same as Appetite is a complicated phenomenon, linking biology with . It is a biopsychological system, meaning it is the result of both our biology (hunger) and psychology (desires and feelings). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
20. Arteriosclerosis
The term is used to describe several diseases, including those involving the blood vessels. In this instance, the become hardened and blood vessels lose their "elastic" effect. Arteriosclerosis can begin in early childhood. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
21. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners may assist in weight management, prevention of dental , and control of blood for diabetics. It has also been suggested that low-calorie sweeteners may stimulate the appetite, but the bulk of evidence does not support this hypothesis. Conclusive research demonstrates that artificial sweeteners have no effect on , short- or long-term blood glucose control, or secretion, and they are thus an excellent sugar alternative for diabetics. There have been a number of health concerns related with these products, though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process for artificial sweeteners involves a comprehensive analysis of scientific data to satisfy safety requirements. All "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) sweeteners have undergone extensive safety testing and have been carefully reviewed by the FDA. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
22. Asian Americans, Diets of
Asian Americans represent a large and rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 11.9 million Asian Americans residing in the United States (4.2 percent of the total population) in the year 2000. Chinese Americans were the leading Asian group (not including Taiwanese Americans), followed by Filipinos (2.4 million) and Asian Indians (1.9 million). A U.S. Census estimate predicts a tripling of this population by 2050. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
23. Asians, Diet of
With forty-seven countries, innumerable tribes, and thousands of distinct languages, Asia is home to more ethnic groups than any other part of the world. In addition, the geography and climate of Asia are as diverse as its nations and peoples. From the lush rice paddies of the Philippines to the crowded Tokyo metropolis to the rainforests of Indonesia, there is a staggering variety of fruit, food, and spices in this extraordinary part of the world. Asia can be divided into three regions: East Asia (including China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea); Southeast Asia (including Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines); and South Asia (including India and Sri Lanka). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
24. Atherosclerosis
Macrovascular disease, or , is the cause of more than half of all mortality in developed countries and the leading cause of death in the United States. It is a progressive disease of the large- and medium-sized . The name is derived from the Greek meaning "gruel" or "paste" and meaning "hardening." Thus, atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries due to the accumulation of this paste (commonly called plaque). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
25. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs in young children when their teeth or gums are exposed to infant formula, milk, juice, or other sweet drinks for long periods of time. This often happens when infants or toddlers fall asleep while sucking on a bottle. Breastfed infants are usually not at risk, unless they feed for extended periods. The in the drink (lactose in milk, or fructose in fruit drinks) mix with the normal in the mouth. This bacteria is found in the on teeth and gums. When plaque mixes with carbohydrates, acids are formed that dissolve tooth enamel, causing tooth decay and dental . To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, a child should not be put in bed with a bottle; and the bottle should be taken away as soon as mealtime is over. Further, only formula or water should be put in a bottle; juices and sweet drinks should be offered in a cup. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
26. Battle Creek Sanitarium, Early Health Spa
The Western Health Reform Institute, which opened in 1866, was originally a residence belonging to Benjamin Graves, a judge of the Michigan Superior Court. Set on eight acres of land, this farm house gave no hint of what it was to become, but already there were ideas and propositions for the building that would lead to a worldwide reputation. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
27. Beikost
The German word translates as "foods other than milk or formula." It refers to the first strained foods that are given to a young infant as a supplement to breast milk or formula. Beikost is introduced between four and six months of age, when an infant develops the appropriate oral motor skills and can indicate disinterest by leaning back and turning away. The first foods introduced vary by country, but are generally soft mashed foods that are easily digested. If solid foods are added before four months, there is a risk of overfeeding or negative physical reactions such as diarrhea. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
28. Beriberi
Thiamin, or vitamin B, is a vitamin that plays a role in production (through the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate [ATP]) and nerve conduction. (ATP is the major source of energy that the human body utilizes to do work.) Thiamin is found in abundance in foods such as lean pork, , and yeast. In contrast, polished (white) rice, white flour, refined sugars, fats, and oils are foods lacking this vitamin. People at risk for thiamin deficiency include those who consume large quantities of alcohol and those who live in impoverished conditions, for such people are deficient in substantial amounts of and . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
29. Beta-Carotene
Beta-carotene is the most active of the deeply colored pigments called . After consumption, beta-carotene converts to retinol, a readily usable form of vitamin A. Beta-carotene's beneficial effects include protecting the skin from sunlight damage, fighting early cells, boosting immunity, and preventing formation. It also stops the creation of (oxidants), which are DNA-damaging molecular fragments in the body. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
30. Bezoars
Bezoars are balls of undigested materials, , and undissolved medicines that resist the action of digestive in the stomach. Bezoars are the result of a lack of stomach hydrochloric acid secretion, without which medicine like sulfa , , and antacid tablets may not dissolve. They may also be caused by poor stomach emptying. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
31. Binge Eating
(BED), also known as compulsive overeating, has been designated as a psychiatric disorder requiring further study by the American Psychiatric Association. Like bulimics, individuals suffering from binge eating disorder indulge in regular episodes of gorging, but unlike bulimics, they do not purge afterward. Binges are accompanied by a similar sense of guilt, embarrassment, and loss of self-control seen among bulimics. Because of the tremendous number of consumed, many people with BED are or , and as a result they are more prone to complications such as , , high , and . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
32. Bioavailability
A nutrient's is the proportion of the nutrient that, when ingested, actually gets absorbed by the body. The remaining amount cannot be metabolized and is removed as waste. The ability to absorb nutrients varies by gender, disease state, and physiologic condition (e.g., pregnancy, aging). The bioavailability of a nutrient can also increase or decrease if other substances are present. For example, and magnesium lose much of their effectiveness if taken with fatty foods. The themselves may also regulate the amount of a mineral that enters the bloodstream. For these reasons, taking high-potency vitamin supplements does not guarantee that all of the included nutrients will enter one's system. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
33. Biotechnology
The term refers to the use of scientific techniques, including engineering, to improve or modify plants, animals, and . In its most basic forms, biotechnology has been in use for millennia. For example, Middle Easterners who domesticated and bred deer, antelope, and sheep as early as 18,000 ; Egyptians who made wine in 4000 ; and Louis Pasteur, who developed in 1861, all used biotechnology. In recent years, however, food biotechnology has become synonymous with the terms and (GMO). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
34. Body Fat Distribution
accumulation is referred to as body fat distribution. For individuals with (apple-shaped) distribution, fat is centered around the abdominal area. This leads to an increased risk for coronary artery disease, , , and high and levels. It is also an indicator for . (pear-shaped) distribution is associated with body fat that accumulates around the hip and thigh region. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
35. Body Image
The term refers to the view that a person has of his or her own body size and proportion. Body-image distortion occurs when a person's view of their body is significantly different from reality. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
36. Body Mass Index
Body weight is used as an indicator of an individual's health. It is usually compared to tables that list "ideal" or "desirable" weight ranges for specific heights. Some of these tables use values gathered from research studies, while some include the heights and weights of individuals who have bought life insurance (e.g., the Metropolitan Height and Weight Tables). An individual's weight can be described as a percentage of the ideal or desirable weight listed, and can also be categorized as healthy, underweight, , or . An additional method of comparing an individual to a population group is with the . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
37. Breastfeeding
Before 1900, most mothers breastfed their infants. Breastfeeding rates declined sharply worldwide after 1920, when evaporated cow's milk and infant formula became widely available. These were promoted as being more convenient for mothers and more nutritious than human milk. Breastfeeding rates began rising again in the late 1950s and early 1960s. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
38. Brillat-Savarin, Jean Anthelme
39. Bulimia Nervosa
nervosa is an characterized by frequent episodes of eating, which are followed by purging to prevent weight gain. During these incidents, unusually large portions of food are consumed in secret, followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or diuretic and laxative abuse. Although the types of food chosen may vary, sweets and high-calorie foods are commonly favored. Bulimic episodes are typically accompanied by a sense of a loss of self-control and feelings of shame. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
40. Caffeine
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in the leaves, seeds, or fruit of over sixty plants around the world. Caffeine exists in the coffee bean in Arabia, the tea leaf in China, the kola nut in West Africa, and the cocoa bean in Mexico. Because of its use throughout all societies, caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world. The most common caffeine sources in North America and Europe are coffee and tea. Since about 1980, extensive research has been conducted on how caffeine affects health. Most experts agree that moderate use of caffeine (300 milligrams, or about three cups of coffee, per day) is not likely to cause health problems. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
41. Calcium
is one of the most important elements in the because it is a structural component of bones, teeth, and soft tissues and is essential in many of the body's processes. It accounts for 1 to 2 percent of adult body weight, 99 percent of which is stored in bones and teeth. On the cellular level, calcium is used to regulate the permeability and electrical properties of membranes (such as cell walls), which in turn control muscle and nerve functions, glandular secretions, and blood vessel dilation and contraction. Calcium is also essential for proper . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
42. Calorie
Technically, a is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram (kg) of water 1 degree Celsius. One calorie is 1/1000 of a kilocalorie (a kcalorie or Calorie). The kcalorie is the unit by which food, and the amount of a person takes in is measured. To maintain one's weight, energy intake should equal energy expenditure. If energy intake is negative (if a person consumes fewer kilocalories than he or she needs or expends) then weight loss will occur. If energy intake is positive (if a person consumes more kilocalories than he or she needs and expends), weight gain will occur. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
43. Cancer
is a disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. Around the world, over 10 million cancer cases occur annually. Half of all men and one-third of all women in the United States will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. It is one of the most feared diseases, primarily because half of those diagnosed with cancer in the United States will die from it. Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world, causing over 6 million deaths a year. The exact causes of most types of cancer are still not known, and there is not yet a cure for cancer. However, it is now known that the risk of developing many types of cancer can be reduced by adopting certain lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and eating a better . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
44. Carbohydrates
are one of three macronutrients that provide the body with ( and fats being the other two). The chemical compounds in carbohydrates are found in both simple and complex forms, and in order for the body to use carbohydrates for energy, food must undergo digestion, , and . It is recommended that 55 to 60 percent of caloric intake come from carbohydrates. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
45. Cardiovascular Disease
The system comprises the heart, veins, , and capillaries, which carry blood back and forth from the heart to the lungs (pulmonary circulation) and from the heart to the rest of the body (systemic circulation). The heart works on electrical impulses and produces them constantly, unless , fear, or danger is involved, in which case the impulses will increase dramatically. The body's largest artery is the aorta and the largest vein is the vena cava. Veins are thinner than arteries, which resemble rubber bands in that they expand more easily (depending on the amount of blood passing through them). Smaller blood vessels, or capillaries, channel and blood to tissues. The process is a cycle in which the capillaries deliver oxygen-rich blood to the body and pick up oxygen-poor blood, which is then taken into the veins and finally to the heart to be "rejuvenated" or cleansed. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
46. Careers in Dietetics
The science and profession of and dietetics is based on the application of foods and nutrition to promote health and treat disease. Most dietitians and nutritionists work in , community, public health, or food service settings. Others work as consultants or researchers, in the food industry, in university, worksite, medical school, home health, or fitness center settings. Some persons work for world or regional health organizations. At least a bachelor's degree in dietetics, foods, and nutrition is needed to practice as a dietitian or a nutritionist. Dietetic technicians need an associate's degree. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
47. Caribbean Islanders, Diet of
Travel advertisements for the Caribbean Islands portray long stretches of sun-drenched beaches and swaying palm trees, with people dancing to jazz, calypso, reggae, or meringue music. Indeed, the beauty, warmth, and lush landscapes had Christopher Columbus in awe in 1492 when he came upon these tropical islands, stretching approximately 2,600 miles between Florida and Venezuela. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
48. Carotenoids
are a group of red and yellow fat-soluble compounds that pigment different types of plants, such as flowers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and carrots, as well as animals, such as salmon, flamingos, and goldfish. The ingestion of carotenoids is essential to human health, not only because some convert into Vitamin A, but also because they have effects, which may combat such diverse problems as and . Carotenoids also help prevent by inhibiting lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) (the "bad" cholesterol) from sticking to walls and creating plaques. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
49. Central Americans and Mexicans, Diets of
The diets of peoples in Mexico and Central America (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, and Costa Rica) have several commonalities, though within the region great differences in methods of preparation and in local recipes exist. The basis of the traditional in this part of the world is corn (maize) and beans, with the addition of meat, animal products, local fruits, and vegetables. As in other parts of the world, the diet of people in this area has expanded to include more . In many parts of Mexico and Central America, access to a variety of foods remains limited, and , particularly among children, is a major problem. Although access to an increased variety of foods can improve the adequacy of both and status, there is evidence that the use of processed foods is contributing to the rapidly increasing of and diet-related diseases such as . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
50. Central Europeans and Russians, Diets of
A health gap separates Central and Eastern Europe from the United States, Canada, Japan, and the Western part of Europe. This East-West gap in health started during the 1960s. Almost half of this gap was due to disease (CVD) mortality differentials. There has been a marked increase of CVD in Central and Eastern Europe, which is only partially explainable by the high of the three traditional CVD risk factors (, , and smoking) in these countries. There is an extreme nonhomogeneity of the former Soviet bloc, and the data from each country must be analyzed individually. The aim here is to present the latest available data, which show the health status of various regions of postcommunist Europe. All data used are taken from the World Health Organization (WHO) Health for All Database (as updated in June 2003). The last available data from most countries are from the year 2002. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
51. Childhood Obesity
There have always been children. Historically, chubby babies and toddlers were more likely to survive infections and contagious diseases, and overweight children and family members were often signs of affluence and financial security in a community. Thus, in some cultures, overweight was a valued body type. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
52. College Students, Diets of
When students first enter college, their diets often deteriorate and they often gain weight. There are many factors responsible for these changes. However, there are also several actions that can be taken to avoid the weight gain and decline in quality that may occur during the college years. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
53. Commodity Foods
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers several programs that distribute commodity foods, which are foods that the federal government has the legal authority to purchase and distribute in order to support farm prices. The first commodity distribution program began during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when it was known as the Needy Family Program. This was the main form of food assistance for low-income people in the United States until the Food Stamp Program was expanded in the early 1970s. The Needy Family Program distributed surplus agricultural commodities such as cheese, butter, and other items directly to low-income people. Today, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administers the nation's commodity food distribution programs. The programs continue to improve the nutrition status of low-income people, while providing a means for using surplus agricultural commodities from U.S. farm programs. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
54. Comprehensive School Health Program
The Comprehensive School Health Program (CSHP) is a national program in the United States that makes efforts in schools to improve the health of children. Since schools profoundly influence the health of young people, the CSHP is very important. The program is supported by a national health organization, the American School Health Association (ASHA), which is actively involved in improving the health of school-age children. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
55. Convenience Foods
Convenience foods are foods that have had preparation steps incorporated into their processing, or have been completely prepared during processing. This decreases preparation steps and time for the consumer. The "convenience" can mean the premixing of the ingredients for a cake or offering a fully prepared frozen meal. The term convenience food is generic and can apply to just about any food, but it is generally used in reference to canned items, instant foods or mixes, frozen foods or meals, and fast foods. Although they can be more costly than home-cooked meals, the trend is toward their increased use throughout the world. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
56. Corn- or Maize-Based Diets
Maize, the American Indian word for corn, literally means "that which sustains life." After wheat and rice, it is the most important cereal grain in the world, providing for humans and animals. It also serves as a basic raw material for the production of starch, oil, , alcoholic beverages, food sweeteners, and fuel. Maize has the highest average yield per hectare. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
57. Cravings
Most people, at some time, have a strong desire for some particular food, such as ice cream or pizza. Such a desire for a particular food, even when one is not hungry, is called a craving. There are a number of theories as to why people crave certain foods, including: read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
58. Cultural Competence
Despite notable progress in the overall health of Americans, there are continuing disparities in health status among African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders, compared to the U.S. population as a whole. In addition, the health care system is becoming more challenged as the population becomes more ethnically diverse. Therefore, the future health of the U.S. population as a whole will be influenced substantially by improvements in the health of racial and ethnic minorities. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
59. Dehydration
is the excessive loss of water from the body. Water can be lost through urine, sweat, feces, respiration, and through the skin. Symptoms of dehydration in order of severity are: thirst, , chills, clammy skin, increased heart rate, muscle pain, reduced sweating, dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, dry mouth, , lack of sweating, hallucinations, fainting, and loss of consciousness. Dehydration can affect mental alertness, renal function, circulation, and total physical capacity. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
60. Diabetes Mellitus
mellitus is a common disorder resulting from defects in action, insulin production, or both. Insulin, a secreted by the pancreas, helps the body use and store produced during the digestion of food. Characterized by , symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst, , weight loss, blurred vision, , and, occasionally, coma. Uncontrolled hyperglycemia over time damages the eyes, nerves, blood vessels, kidneys, and heart, causing organ dysfunction and failure. A number of risk factors are attributed to the of diabetes, including family history, age, ethnicity, and characteristics, as well as , lifestyle, , and clinical factors. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
61. Diarrhea
Diarrhea, a condition that has a major impact on global health, is highly correlated with nutritional status. It is an important area of focus due not only to its high worldwide and health costs, but also because it can be significantly reduced by appropriate interventions and treatment. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
62. Diet
The term refers to a person's pattern of eating and drinking. Diet is influenced by many factors, including income, culture, religion, geographic location, and lifestyle. A balanced diet contains food from several food groups and supplies the body with the and essential it needs (as defined by the Food Guide Pyramid and ). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
63. Dietary Assessment
A dietary assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of a person's food intake. It is one of four parts of a assessment done in a setting. These four parameters of assessment include: (1) an assessment of (weight, height, weight-to-height ratio, head circumference, , etc.); (2) dietary assessment, which includes a history or food frequency analysis; (3) a physical examination with a medical history; and (4) exams or blood/urine tests. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
64. Dietary Guidelines
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the foundation of national policy for the United States. They are designed to help Americans make food choices that promote health and reduce the risk of disease. The guidelines are published jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The first set of guidelines was published as in 1980. Since then, an advisory committee has been appointed every five years to review and revise the guidelines based on the latest research in nutrition and health. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
65. Dietary Reference Intakes
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are a set of reference values. They are used to help people select healthful diets, set national policy, and establish safe upper limits of intake. DRIs include four sets of nutrient standards: Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), Adequate Intake (AI), and Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL). Starting in the mid-1990s, DRIs began to replace RDAs and Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Canadians, which had been the standards for the United States and for Canada, respectively. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
66. Dietary Supplements
The demand for dietary supplements in the United States catapulted what was once a cottage industry into a $14 billion per year business in the year 2000. In 1994, the U.S. Congress formally defined the term as a product taken by mouth that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to supplement the . The dietary ingredients in these products may include , , herbs, , , organ tissues, glandulars, and . Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, liquids, or powders. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
67. Dietary Trends, American
Americans have become more aware of what they eat, and how it might affect their health. Concerns about the safety of the food supply are on the rise, and increasing nutritional awareness has led to an increase in vegetarian, organic, and health-food options in supermarkets. "Lite" food is in, and indulgence is out. But are Americans practicing what they preach? A closer look at American dietary trends reveals that parts of the American are still lacking in nutritional quality, despite consumer demand for healthier options. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
68. Dietary Trends, International
What foods an individual eats is affected by the ability to access foods. Economic status, geography, and politics have influenced the diets of people throughout history. Poverty is linked to , while economic growth and a rise in population pose new nutritional problems. Ironically, diets high in complex and in poor economic times give way to consumption of foods high in sugars and when economic conditions improve. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
69. Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR)
A dietetic technician, registered (DTR) is a professional who is knowledgeable about food, , and therapy, which is the use of diet and nutrition in the treatment of diseases. A person seeking DTR credentials must complete a two-year associate's degree in an accredited dietetic technician (DT) program, a minimum of 450 hours of supervised practice experience (gained under the direction of an accredited DT program), and successfully complete the national registration examination for DTR. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
70. Dietetics
Dietetics is the study of food, food science, and nutrition, and of the interactions of food and in people and populations. It can also refer to the management of food service and the provision of health guidance in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, health departments, clinics, and in private practice. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
71. Dieting
The term refers to restrictive eating or nutritional remedies for conditions such as iron-deficiency , diseases, pernicious anemia, , , or . Someone can be on a heart-healthy that encourages the consumption of reasonable amounts of whole grains and fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, and fish, but limits foods high in and sodium, or one can be on a weight loss diet. Examples of weight loss diets include: the Atkins New Diet Revolution, the Calories Don't Count Diet, the Protein Power Diet, the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, and Weight Watchers. There is a lack of research, however, on whether these diets (except for Weight Watchers) are helpful, especially over the long term (defined as two to five years from the date of weight loss). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
72. Dietitian
A dietitian is a professional nutritionist—an educated food and specialist who is qualified by training and examination to evaluate people's nutritional health and needs. Most dietitians are registered and are referred to as RDs. To become an RD, a person must earn an undergraduate degree in nutrition, food science, or food management, including courses in several other related subjects (chemistry, anatomy and , management, psychology, etc.); complete a 900-hour ; pass a national exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (the credentialing arm of the American Dietetic Association), and maintain up-to-date knowledge and registration by participating in required continuing education activities, such as attending workshops, doing research, taking courses, or writing professional papers. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
73. Digestion and Absorption
Digestion is the breakdown of food into smaller particles or individual . It is accomplished through six basic processes, with the help of several body fluids—particularly digestive juices that are made up of compounds such as saliva, mucus, , hydrochloric acid, bicarbonate, and . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
74. Disaster Relief Organizations
Natural disasters, as well as some human-caused disasters, lead to human suffering and create needs that the victims cannot alleviate without assistance. Examples of disasters include hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, drought, blizzards, , war, fire, volcanic eruption, a building collapse, or a transportation wreck. When any such disaster strikes, a variety of international organizations offer relief to the affected country. Each organization has different objectives, expertise, and resources to offer, and several hundred may become involved in a single major disaster. International disaster relief on such a large scale must be properly coordinated to avoid further chaos and confusion both during and after the disaster. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
75. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders affect both the mind and the body. Although deviant eating patterns have been reported throughout history, eating disorders were first identified as medical conditions by the British physician William Gull in 1873. The of eating disorders increased substantially throughout the twentieth century, and in 1980 the American Psychiatric Association formally classified these conditions as mental illnesses. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
76. Eating Disturbances
An eating disturbance shares many similar characteristics with eating disorders, but is less severe in scope. As a result, many abnormal dietary patterns and behaviors, such as eating, excessive exercising, weight cycling, and dieting may involve many of the same attitudes and impulses as eating disorders, though they do not meet the clinical criteria for diagnosis. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
77. Eating Habits
The term (or ) refers to why and how people eat, which foods they eat, and with whom they eat, as well as the ways people obtain, store, use, and discard food. Individual, social, cultural, religious, economic, environmental, and political factors all influence people's eating habits. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
78. Emergency Nutrition Network
The Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) is a network of humanitarian agencies and researchers that supports and facilitates activities that increase the effectiveness of emergency food and nutrition interventions. The planning for the ENN was done in 1995 at a meeting sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the network began operating in November 1996. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
79. Ergogenic Aids
Ergogenic aids are dietary supplements intended to enhance athletic performance. Athletes often look for a "magic bullet" that can give them an advantage over their opponents. However, while they tend to be highly disciplined regarding training, they are not always careful in their use of dietary supplements. The important points about supplement usage include: read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
80. Exchange System
Prior to the development of exchange lists in 1950, meal planning for persons in the United States with was chaotic, with no agreement among the major organizations involved with diabetes and . To solve this problem, the concept of "exchange," or "substitution," of similar foods was developed by the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the U.S. Public Health Service. The goal was to develop an educational tool for persons with diabetes that would provide uniformity in meal planning and allow for the inclusion of a wider variety of foods. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
81. Exercise
More than 28 percent of Americans are completely (they engage in no physical activity), with an additional 60 percent being inadequately active (engaging in less than 30 minutes of activity per day). For those who strive to achieve and maintain a high quality of health, it must be recognized that physical activity is vital to optimal health. This is reaffirmed by numerous studies that have found an association between physical activity, health, longevity, and an improved quality of life. In addition, the number of deaths related to sedentary living or is approximately a half-million per year. Physical activity may impact quality of life in several ways: it can be used to improve self-image and self-esteem, physical , and health. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
82. Exercise Addiction
Individuals with an exercise addiction are characterized by their compulsive exercise behaviors, an overinvolvement in exercise, and the presence of an activity disorder—meaning they exercise at a duration, intensity, and frequency beyond that required for sport. A rigid schedule of intense exercise is maintained, accompanied by strong feelings of guilt when this schedule is violated. These individuals resist the temptation to lapse into nonexercise, and if they do lapse, the amount of exercise they partake in increases after the lapse. Exercise addicts will skip school or work to exercise, forgo social events to exercise, exercise even when they are ill or tired, and keep detailed journals of their workouts. In addition, exercise addiction can lead to disordered eating behaviors. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
83. Expanded Food Nutrition and Education Program
The Expanded Food Nutrition and Education Program (EFNEP), established in 1968, is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. By providing grants to local communities, the program assists U.S. counties in developing programs to improve home and family life. EFNEP's purpose is to help economically and socially disadvantaged families improve their food practices and their . This may include advice on planning meals; selecting, purchasing, and preparing foods; and solving housekeeping problems (especially those involving storage and sanitation) that may interfere with proper food and nutrition management. EFNEP trains homemakers living in the community to be education and training facilitators, thereby advancing women and improving neighborhood networks. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
84. Fad Diets
Americans are obsessed with dieting. They willingly try the latest appearing in popular magazines, discussed on talk shows, and displayed on the shelves of their local bookstore. Many fad diets defy logic, basic biochemistry, and even appetite appeal. They are popular because they promise quick results, are relatively easy to implement, and claim remarkable improvements in how their followers will look or feel. Unfortunately, the one thing most fad diets have in common is that they seldom promote sound weight loss. More important, they only work short-term. As many as 95 percent of people who lose weight gain it back within five years. It is not surprising that nearly 25 percent of Americans are confused when it comes to information about dieting. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
85. Failure to Thrive
is a term used to describe infants and young children who are not growing or are losing weight due to , neglect, abuse, or medical conditions. In failure to thrive, the child may have a low body weight (below the third percentile for the child's age), a low height for age, or a small head circumference. A child with failure to thrive is not eating or being offered enough to meet his or her nutritional needs. Besides impaired growth, other symptoms include tiredness, sleeplessness, irritability, lethargy, resistance to eating, vomiting, and problems with elimination. The child may be suffering from an illness, medical condition, or recurring infections; taking medications; or come from a poor, distressed, or socially isolated family. To attain normal growth levels, a child with this condition requires from 1.5 to 2 times the normal amount of calories. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
86. Famine
Famine is the culmination of a long process, typically covering two or more crop seasons, in which increasing numbers of people lose their access to food. Although early detection seems highly possible, the origins of famine are unclear, and early response is therefore rare. Famine is distinct from generalized hunger, , or undernourishment. It is a more dramatic and exceptional event that triggers institutional responses. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
87. Fast Foods
Fast foods are relatively inexpensive foods that are prepared and served quickly. The industry had its beginnings around the mid-twentieth century, and it grew tremendously during the last three decades of the twentieth century. Growth of the fast-food industry is projected to be even greater outside the United States during the twenty-first century. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
88. Fasting
The term refers to voluntarily or involuntarily going without food. A person may fast voluntarily because of an , as a dietary practice related to religious , or for health reasons, such as weight loss or internal cleansing. There are, however, no nutritional benefits to fasting. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
89. Fat Substitutes
Since the late 1980s, fat-free and reduced-fat foods have become widely available. While not all new products survive the competitive marketplace, thousands of new reduced-fat and fat-free products have been introduced each year since 1990. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
90. Fats
Lipids are organic substances consisting mostly of carbons and hydrogen . They are hydrophobic, which means that they have little or no affinity to water. All lipids are soluble (or dissolvable) in nonpolar solvents, such as ether, alcohol, and gasoline. There are three families of lipids: (1) fats, (2) phospholipids, and (3) steroids. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
91. Female Athlete Triad
The female athlete triad is a common nutritional disorder among female athletes caused by the drive of girls and women to be unrealistically thin in an attempt to improve performance. The disorder is most common in sports judged by build (e.g., gymnastics, diving, figure skating), sports with a weight classification (e.g., light-weight crew), and endurance sports (e.g., distance running). It is characterized by three interrelated conditions: (1) disordered eating, such as bingeing, purging, or severe restriction; (2) amenorrhea, or the absence of normal menstrual periods; and (3) osteoporosis, a condition marked by reduced bone density. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
92. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a birth defect caused by a mother's alcohol intake during pregnancy. The symptoms of FAS are mental retardation, poor growth, facial defects, and behavioral problems. It is one of the leading causes of mental retardation in children. The effects are lifelong. Fetal alcohol effects (FAE) is a less severe set of the same symptoms. FAS is found in infants of all races and ethnic groups. Since it is not known how much alcohol a pregnant woman must drink to cause the syndrome, it is recommended that women not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
93. Fiber
Fiber, which is found in all plant-based foods, is composed of a group of compounds that makes up the framework of plants. Although fiber cannot be digested, it is an essential for good health. The health benefits of a rich in fiber include lower and a reduced risk of and certain cancers. Also referred to as roughage, fiber is made up of many compounds, mostly . It can be found in a variety of foods, including wheat, potatoes, and certain fruits and vegetables. Although the recommended amount of fiber is 20 to 35 grams a day, the average American consumes only 12 to 15 grams on a daily basis. Asians, on average, consume three times as much fiber as Americans do. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
94. Food Aid for Development and the World Food Programme
Food aid has been a key to global agricultural development and trade policy since the end of World War II. Food aid creates agricultural development and income growth in poor nations, and thus creates future markets for donor countries, according to Christopher Barrett. However, food aid may be inflationary because it increases demand and costs for nonfood items in the recipient countries. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
95. Food and Agricultural Organization
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is one of the largest specialized agencies of the United Nations. Founded in 1945, it is responsible for raising levels of and standards of living, increasing agricultural productivity, and improving rural living conditions throughout the world. The FAO is an international organization that has 183 member countries, plus one member organization, the European Community. The FAO Conference, which meets every two years, is the governing body of the FAO. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
96. Food Guide Pyramid
The Food Guide Pyramid is a graphic representation of a food guide that was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the 1980s. Food guides are tools designed to help people select healthful diets. The USDA has been developing food guides since 1916, and recommendations have changed over the years due to emerging knowledge about needs and the relationships between and health, changing economic conditions (such as the Great Depression in the 1930s), and changing lifestyles. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
97. Food Insecurity
Millions of people worldwide suffer from hunger and . A major factor contributing to this international problem is This condition exists when people lack sustainable physical or economic access to enough safe, nutritious, and socially acceptable food for a healthy and productive life. Food insecurity may be , seasonal, or temporary, and it may occur at the household, regional, or national level. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
98. Food Labels
The quality and safety of foods are a worldwide concern and have been a societal issue since the beginning of civilization. In the United States, very complex laws and regulations have been developed to address food safety concerns. These laws and regulations are designed not only to insure that food is safe to eat, but also to insure that the product label provides information consumers need to make educated food-purchasing decisions. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
99. Food Safety
One of the many luxuries Americans enjoy is access to the safest and most abundant food supply in the world. This stems from many advances and improvements in food safety, sanitation, and crop production that reduce the chance of food-safety problems, including food-borne illness, pesticide contamination, or infectious disease. There are many reasons why food safety has become an issue. First, medical advances have made it possible for people to live longer, creating an aging population more susceptible to disease. Second, labor in the food industry is more diverse and less skilled. Learning barriers, personnel turnover, and limited food-preparation skills create challenges in training. Third, the U.S. food supply has expanded globally, and many types of food come from areas where food safety standards are less stringent than those in the United States. Other concerns for food safety stem from terrorist threats, food irradiation, and genetically modified foods. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
100. Fortification
is the addition of to foods to enhance their nutritional value. , on the other hand, is the addition of nutrients to foods to restore nutrients lost during processing. Examples of fortification include the addition of and to grain products, to juices, iodine to salt, and iron to infant formulas. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
101. French Paradox
The term refers to the observation that although the French eat similar amounts of high-fat foods, exercise less, and smoke more than Americans, they appear to have a markedly lower mortality rate from . Medical experts generally agree that a low-fat , exercise, and not smoking minimize the risk of heart attacks, which makes this paradox difficult to understand. Studies suggest that one of the reasons the French have a lower rate of heart disease may be their regular consumption of red wine. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
102. Functional Foods
are foods that provide health benefits beyond basic due to certain physiologically active components, which may or may not have been manipulated or modified to enhance their bioactivity. These foods may help prevent disease, reduce the risk of developing disease, or enhance health. Consumer interest in functional foods increased during the late twentieth century as people's interest in achieving and maintaining good health increased. Health-conscious consumers have become aware of the health benefits associated with specific foods and are incorporating elements such as , , and soy into their diets. Rapid advances in food science and technology, an aging population, the rapid rise in health care costs, and changing government marketing and labeling regulations have also had an impact on the functional foods market. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
103. Funk, Casimir
104. Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)
In 1959, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established a list of seven hundred food substances that were exempt from the then new requirement that manufacturers test before putting them on the market. The Generally Recognized as Safe, or GRAS, list acknowledged that many additives had existing scientific evidence of long and safe use in food. Among the additives on the list are sugar, salt, spices, and . Manufacturers can petition for GRAS status for new additives if the substances meet the criteria cited above. GRAS list additives are continually reevaluated based on current scientific evidence. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
105. Genetically Modified Foods
modification employs recombinant (rDNA) technology to alter the of , plants, and animals. Genetic modification is also called biotechnology, gene splicing, recombinant DNA technology, or genetic engineering. Contemporary genetic modification was developed in the 1970s and essentially transfers genetic material from one organism to another. The modification of organisms has existed for centuries in the form of plant-breeding techniques (such as cross-fertilization) used to produce desired traits. With genetic modification, however, isolated genes are inserted into plants for a desired trait with a much quicker result than occurs when cross-breeding plants, which can take years. These isolated genes do not have to come from similar species in order to be functional; theoretically, genes can be transferred among all microorganisms, plants, and animals. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
106. Glisson, Francis
107. Global Database on National Nutrition Policies and Programmes
Hunger and occur throughout the world, though the knowledge and resources exist to eliminate them. The challenge lies in changing political will, developing realistic policies, and taking determined actions both nationally and internationally. These are the basic beliefs of the Global Database on National Nutrition Policies and Programmes (GDNNPP). GDNNPP was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1995 to monitor and evaluate the progress of implementation of the 1992 World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition, which states that all people should have access to safe and nutritious food and be free from hunger. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
108. Glossary
109. Glycemic Index
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of foods individuals with use to manage their disease. This ranking is based on the rate carbohydrates affect blood levels relative to glucose or white bread. Generally, the glycemic index is calculated by measuring blood glucose levels following the ingestion of a carbohydrate. This blood glucose value is compared to the blood glucose value acquired following an equal carbohydrate dose of glucose or white bread. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than any other carbohydrate, and is thus given the value of 100. Other carbohydrates are given a number relative to glucose. Foods with low GI indices are released into the bloodstream at a slower rate than high GI foods. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
110. Goiter
111. Goldberger, Joseph
112. Graham, Sylvester
113. Grazing
The term grazing is used to describe the eating of small, frequent meals, or mini-meals, throughout the day, typically every three to four hours. Grazing does not mean constantly eating snack foods, but rather is a concept of consuming one's daily food intake, including all necessary , over five or six (or more) small meals, rather than two or three large ones. Frequent eating can be a great way to maintain one's level. This is also a beneficial eating pattern for individuals with problems such as and . Without a focus on healthy choices, however, grazing can become an easy way to overeat, and could possibly lead to weight gain. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
114. Greeks and Middle Easterners, Diet of
The "Mediterranean " gained much recognition and worldwide interest in the 1990s as a model for healthful eating habits. The diet is based on the traditional dietary patterns of Crete, a Greek island, and other parts of Greece and southern Italy. The diet has become a popular area of study due to observations made in 1960 of low incidences of disease and high life-expectancy rates attributed to the populations who consumed a traditional Mediterranean diet. This healthful diet model goes far beyond the use of particular ingredients and recipes. It attains its full meaning in the context of climate, geography, customs, and the way of life of Mediterranean peoples. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
115. Growth Charts
Growth charts are used by pediatricians, dietitians, nurses, and parents to assess the growth of infants, children, and adolescents. In the United States, growth charts are created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and assess weight, height, and (BMI). Each chart consists of a series of percentile curves that are used to compare the body measurements of children to others their age and gender. For example, a five-year-old girl whose weight falls in the 25th percentile weighs the same as or more than 25 percent of other five-year-old girls—and less than 75 percent of other five-year-old girls. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
116. Growth Hormone
Human growth hormone (HGH) stimulates the growth of bones and affects the of , , and . It is secreted by the , which is located in the brain. Whereas HGH is produced in the body, genetic engineering has resulted in the development of recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH), which is used to treat stunted growth in children. Bovine somatotropin (BST) is a naturally occurring protein hormone in cows that increases milk production when administered as a supplement. BST is not biologically active in humans and is broken down into inactive and peptides when consumed. Therefore, milk from cows treated with BST is believed to be as safe and nutritious as milk from untreated cows. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
117. Health
Health is a measure of quality of life that is difficult to define and measure. In the 1940s, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as a "state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." At the first International Conference on Health Promotion in Ottawa, Canada (1986), the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion built on the WHO's concept and further defined health as "a resource for everyday life ... a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capabilities." Good health enables one to function independently within a changing environment. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
118. Health Claims
As part of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented regulations defining what terms may be used to describe the level of a in a food, as well as what claims could be made about the relationship between a nutrient or a food and the risk of a disease or health-related condition. Prior to the implementation of these regulations, there were no guidelines for food manufacturers to use when making statements about the nutritional value of a food product. Consequently, consumers had difficulty comparing foods based solely on the nutritional content of the products. The NLEA served to level the playing field for manufacturers of nutritionally focused food products by providing a consistent definition of claims to assist consumers when shopping for food products. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
119. Health Communication
Health communication is the discipline that studies and develops appropriate communication strategies to inform individuals and communities about ways to enhance health. It is used at all levels of disease prevention and health promotion and can contribute to improving health and delaying disease, disability, and death. Health communication can be used to: (1) improve patient-provider relationships, (2) assist individuals to search for and use reputable health information and services, (3) enable individuals to adhere to provider recommendations, (4) develop and evaluate public health messages and campaigns, (5) assess health images in the media, (6) and distribute information to those at risk. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
120. Health Education
Health education is the discipline dedicated to designing, implementing, and evaluating health programs and materials that improve the health of individuals, families, and communities. Health education is one of the tools of health promotion. A goal of health education is to provide individuals with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to make healthier choices. Health education takes place in a variety of settings, such as schools; health care facilities; businesses; nonprofit organizations; and local, state, and federal health agencies. A certified health education specialist (CHES) is a person who has met the standards of competence established by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and has successfully passed the CHES examination. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
121. Health Promotion
Achieving optimal health is not the sole responsibility of the individual. Health promotion enables individuals to improve their health and delay disease, disability, and death. Health-promoting activities include healthful eating, adequate physical activity, management, not smoking, and adequate sleep. On a societal level, health promotion focuses on achieving equity in health among all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Health disparities can be reduced or eliminated by providing culturally relevant health information, programs, and services; improving access to health care; creating public policy that promotes health; creating healthy environments; and providing other opportunities for making healthy choices. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
122. Healthy Eating Index
plays a vital role in the prevention of diseases such as , , and . The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) is a measure of the overall quality of an individual's . It was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assess how well American diets comply with the and the read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
123. Healthy People 2010 Report
In the mid-1970s, the United States government began to focus on national health issues, particularly disease prevention and health promotion. The first document to focus on the nation's health was the (1973). This was followed by the enactment of the which created the In 1979, this office produced the first Healthy People report, which focused on reducing mortality rates and increasing independence among older adults. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
124. Heart Disease
The heart, which is about the size of a human fist, is the body's largest, strongest, and most important muscle. The heart continuously pumps blood through the body, helps regulate and prolong health, and controls the flow (circulation) of blood to the lungs, organs, muscles, and tissues in the body. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
125. Hispanics and Latinos, Diet of
The United States Census Bureau defines as those who indicate their origin to be Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American (e.g., Dominican, Nicaraguan, Colombian) or other Hispanic origin. This designation is made independently of racial classification. According to the 2002 U.S. Census, 13.3 percent of the U.S. population (or over 37 million Americans) identified themselves as being of Hispanic origin. This number exceeds the number of non-Hispanic blacks, or African Americans, in the United States, making Hispanics the largest minority subpopulation within the nation. The three major subgroups that make up the Hispanic population are Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans. By far the largest of these is the Mexican-American population, which represents at least twothirds of all Hispanics. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) was identified in 1983 by the French scientist Luc Montagier and his staff at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Ever since that discovery, scientists have been searching for ways to treat those infected with HIV, and to produce a vaccine to prevent its spread. While new antiviral treatments have been developed, a vaccine has yet to be found. HIV causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), an unpredictable condition that may progress over many years and is characterized by a slow deterioration of the . Once an individual becomes infected (HIV has infected the target cells) it takes a week or more before the virus is spread throughout the body's blood and . The immune system responds by turning out HIV in about six to eighteen weeks. The progression of HIV infection to AIDS may take several years. In the initial period, prolonged (2–4 weeks) flu-like symptoms may appear. This is followed by an period (clinical latency) that may last ten or more years. When the immune system becomes further compromised, the patient may experience , caused by the reduced function of the immune system resulting in a plethora of nonspecific and variable signs and symptoms. The condition known as AIDS is marked by severe compromise of the immune system and the presence of one or more opportunistic infections. Some clinical signs and symptoms may include sweating, diarrhea, malaise (feeling tired), anorexia (loss of appetite), weight loss, wasting (loss of muscle tissue), chest pain, swelling of the , infections, disorders, body-fat accumulations, and increased blood fats. In addition to disease-induced signs and symptoms, medications used to treat HIV/AIDS may produce additional signs and symptoms. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
127. Homelessness
Homelessness is a global problem. According to a 1996 United Nations report, 500 million people worldwide were homeless or residing in low-quality housing and unsanitary conditions in 1995. The number of homeless continues to rise, however, and quantifying this population is difficult. Most homelessness rates are reported by service providers, and countries with the best-developed service systems will therefore report the highest number of homeless, a condition referred to as the service-systems paradox. Various other problems, such as double-counts, overcounts, the problem of mobility, and hidden homelessness also affect estimates. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
128. Hunger
Hunger is the drive to find and eat food. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hunger is the world's major health risk. Globally, one in three people suffer from hunger, which is a result of a lack of food security. Food insecurity means people do not have access at all times to nutritionally adequate food. There are three dimensions to food insecurity: a lack of (1) purchasing power (lack of money or resources), (2) accessibility (ability to get food), and (3) availability (amount of food). In the United States, hunger is caused by poverty, whereas in developing countries it is caused by poverty, war, civil unrest, or an undeveloped economy. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
129. Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is the result of either too little or of the body's inefficient use of insulin. Indicators of hyperglycemia include frequent urination, thirst, high levels of sugar in the urine, and high blood sugar. Failure to address hyperglycemia results in and . Over the long term, hyperglycemia causes , foot problems, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
130. Hypertension
is the force with which blood pushes against the walls as it travels through the body. Like air in a balloon, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity—and just as too much air pressure can cause damage to a balloon, too much blood pressure can harm healthy arteries. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers—systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure measures cardiac output and refers to the pressure in the arterial system at its highest. Diastolic pressure measures peripheral resistance and refers to arterial pressure at its lowest. Blood pressure is normally measured at the brachial artery with a sphygmomanometer (pressure cuff) in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and given as systolic over diastolic pressure. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
131. Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia, or abnormally low blood sugar, is caused by the impaired response (or failure) of the liver to release as blood sugar levels decrease. The imbalance in the rate of glucose released from the liver and its use by other body tissues can result in the following hypoglycemic symptoms: hunger, nervousness, dizziness, confusion, sleepiness, difficulty speaking, feeling anxious or weak, irritability, sweating, loss of consciousness, and increased . In diabetic individuals, too much , limited or delayed food intake, a sudden increase in exercise, and excessive alcohol ingestion cause however, occurs about four hours after a meal. The cause is unknown, but experts speculate that deficiencies in the release of glucagon ( released by the pancreas to increase blood glucose levels) and sensitivity to epinephrine (hormone released by the adrenal glands) contribute to hypoglycemia. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
132. Illnesses, Food-Borne
Food-borne illness, often called , is caused by or certain chemicals present in ingested food. , , molds, worms, and protozoa that cause disease are all pathogens, though there are also harmless and beneficial bacteria that are used to make yogurt and cheese. Some chemicals that cause food-borne illness are natural components of foods, while others may be accidentally added during production and processing, either through carelessness or pollution. The main causes of food-borne illness are bacterial (66%), chemical (26%), viral (4%) and (4%). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
133. Immune System
The is made up of cells, tissues, organs, and processes that identify a substance as abnormal or foreign and prevent it from harming the body. Primary defenses include the , but skin, , normal , , and also provide protection. During times of and , immune function may be decreased, meaning that susceptibility to illness is increased. Proper , including adequate protein, , and (such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, which are all found in fruits and vegetables) may help to improve immune response and reduce the risk of illness. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
134. Inborn Errors of Metabolism
Inborn errors of are inherited disorders in which the body cannot the components of food (, , and fats). Metabolism is the process that changes food components into and other required . These disorders may be caused by the altered activity of essential , deficiencies of the substances that activate the enzymes, or faulty transport compounds. disorders can be devastating if appropriate treatment is not initiated promptly and monitored frequently. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
135. Infant Mortality Rate
The infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths (during the first twelve months of life) per 1,000 live births. Before birth, a fetus faces major health risks from during pregnancy, particularly from inadequate, absent, or delayed prenatal care. A mother's may result in a premature birth, which substantially increases the likelihood of infant death. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
136. Infant Nutrition
The first year of life is a period of very rapid growth. An infant's birth weight doubles after about five months and triples by the first birthday, by which time the infant's length increases by half. Adequate and appropriate is essential during this period, for infants that do not receive sufficient , , and will not reach their expected growth. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
137. Infection
138. Insulin
is a produced by specialized cells in the pancreas. Secreted into the bloodstream at each meal, insulin helps the body use and store (sugar) produced during the digestion of food. In people with , the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin that is produced in an efficient manner. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
139. Irradiation
Irradiation, or "electronic ," exposes food to a radiant source of energy, such as or electron beams, for a brief period of time. Irradiation is a "cold" process that produces little heat, so food can remain packaged throughout the process—and until opened by the consumer. Irradiation decreases or eliminates harmful , insects, and . It does not make a food radioactive, and it is allowed in nearly forty countries (including the United States, France, Israel, Russia, and China). It is also endorsed by many agencies, including the World Health Organization. Food Irradiation is not without controversy, however, and many consumer groups and organic farming organizations oppose it, believing that it can alter the cellular structure of foods and cause the production of . Other hazards cited by critics include the partial destruction of in irradiated foods, the destruction of beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria, and the environmental hazard of nuclear irradiation facilities. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
140. Isoflavones
are , which are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that potentially have strong activity (and, therefore, a effect) in the body. They may help lower the risk for various diseases, including , , and . Similar in chemical structure to , isoflavones are, in fact, weak estrogens, and may have an effect similar to estrogens on the body. Nonestrogenic effects of isoflavones include reduction of levels and inhibition of cancer-cell growth. Food sources include soy products such as soy milk, , tempeh, and miso, but not soy sauce or soybean oil. Isoflavones may or may not be found in soy , depending on the processing method. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
141. Johnson, Howard
142. Kellogg, John Harvey
143. Kroc, Ray
144. Kwashiorkor
The term , meaning "the disease of the displaced child" in the language of Ga, was first defined in the 1930s in Ghana. Kwashiorkor is one of the more severe forms of and is caused by inadequate protein intake. It is, therefore, a deficiency. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
145. Lactose Intolerance
is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, the primary sugar in milk. This inability results from a shortage of the lactase, which is normally produced by the cells that line the small intestine. Lactase breaks down lactose into simpler forms that can then be absorbed into the bloodstream during the digestive process. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance include , cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
146. Lay Health Advisor
One model utilized to counter public health budget cuts is the use of lay health advisors (LHAs). Potential LHAs are individuals in the community who have a reputation as a "natural helper" and are trusted by their friends, family, and neighbors. One of the primary objectives of an LHA is to bring together professionals and consumers to mobilize the resources of a community to foster support for preventive health actions. LHAs can facilitate behavior change, especially in underserved populations, by bringing notice to particular health issues that may be of detriment to that community. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
147. Lead Poisoning
Lead is an indestructible that can accumulate and linger in the body. Although the problem of lead exposure has been reduced in the United States, minorities and disadvantaged individuals remain chronically exposed. In developing countries, occupational and environmental exposures still exist and are a serious public health problem. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
148. Legumes
are the edible seeds of plants. They provide a good source of , thiamine, folic acid, vitamin E, and . The fiber in legumes helps to lower blood . Examples of legumes are: dried beans, peas, and seeds (including navy, broad, butter, northern, pinto, red, and black beans, as well as chick peas, soybeans, and peanuts). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
149. Life Expectancy
The term is used to describe the average life span of an individual. Life expectancy can vary considerably in different areas of the world. Compared to other advanced countries, for example, people in the United States "die earlier and spend more time disabled" (WHO, 2000). Factors that affect life expectancy in the United States include: (1) the HIV epidemic, (2) cancers relating to tobacco, (3) high rates of , (4) poor health among minority groups living in rural areas, and (5) high levels of violence. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
150. Lipid Profile
disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in the world and is mainly due to (hardening of the ). Abnormal blood are risk factors for CVD. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
151. Low Birth Weight Infant
An infant born with a weight of less than five pounds (2,500 grams) at birth is classified as a low birth weight infant. Babies with low birth weight were either born prematurely or are small for their age because their growth was restricted in the womb. Poor maternal health and may cause low birth weight. Risk factors include inadequate prenatal nutrition, smoking during pregnancy, and infection during pregnancy. Low birth weight infants face a higher risk of death within the first year of life and have higher rates of disability and disease than other infants. Low birth weight is a leading cause of infant mortality throughout world. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
152. Macrobiotic Diet
George Ohsawa (1893–1966) coined the term to describe a philosophy towards life, health, and healing. Macrobiotic means "way of long life." Macrobiotics is best described as a way of living according to the principles of yin and yang. Ohsawa, in his book, describes twelve principles of yin and yang. On the simplest level, it means that individuals eat foods that keep them in balance with their (i.e., in a hot (yang) climate, more cooling (yin) foods are eaten, and vice versa). Oshawa outlined a ten-stage "Zen" macrobiotic in which each stage gets more restrictive. The diet is alleged to overcome all forms of illness. At the "highest level," the diet is nutritionally inadequate and has resulted in several deaths. Oshawa devoted much of his time trying to understand the "Order of the Universe," and eventually succumbed to the efforts of his experimentation. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
153. Malnutrition
The of the human body reflect the nutritional intake necessary to maintain optimal body function and to meet the body's daily needs. (literally, "bad ") is defined as "inadequate nutrition," and while most people interpret this as , falling short of daily nutritional requirements, it can also mean overnutrition, meaning intake in excess of what the body uses. However, undernutrition affects more than one-third of the world's children, and nearly 30 percent of people of all ages in the developing world, making this the most damaging form of malnutrition worldwide. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
154. Marasmus
is one component of (PEM), the other being . It is a severe form of malnutrition caused by inadequate intake of protein and , and it usually occurs in the first year of life, resulting in and growth retardation. Marasmus accounts for a large burden on global health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that deaths attributable to marasmus approach 50 percent of the more than ten million deaths of children under age five with PEM. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
155. Marketing Strategies
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as "the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives." Marketers use an assortment of strategies to guide how, when, and where product information is presented to consumers. Their goal is to persuade consumers to buy a particular brand or product. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
156. Mastitis
Mastitis is a common infection among breastfeeding women. The infection causes the breast to become tender, red, and hot. The woman also experiences flu-like symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, and sometimes and vomiting. Breast infections can occur when the milk ducts become plugged or when the nipples become cracked. In rare cases, the connective tissues of the breast may become infected. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
157. Maternal Mortality Rate
The maternal mortality rate reflects the number of maternal deaths in a population due to both direct obstetric causes and to conditions aggravated by pregnancy or childbirth. The maternal mortality rate in the United States is approximately 7.7 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
158. Meals On Wheels
Meals On Wheels is a federal food assistance program aimed at improving the diets and nutritional status of homebound older adults. It is funded under Title III-C of the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965. The program provides one hot meal at noon five days a week. Each meal must supply approximately one-third of the recommended intakes. The meal pattern includes three ounces of meat or a meat alternate, two one-half cup portions of fruits and vegetables, one serving of bread, one teaspoon of butter or margarine, eight ounces of milk or a equivalent, and one serving of dessert. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
159. Meat Analog
A meat analog is a manufactured food product that looks and tastes like meat. Vegetarians and other health-conscious individuals eat meat analogs because they are relatively high in . They are also very versatile and can be broiled, baked, or roasted. Soy, wheat , beans, and/or nuts are used as the main protein source, with other ingredients used to provide texture and a meat-like taste. Meat analogs can be purchased to replace hamburger, steak, chicken, hot dogs, sausage, and many other meat products. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
160. Medical Nutrition Therapy
Medical therapy (MNT) is the development and provision of a nutritional treatment or therapy based on a detailed assessment of a person's medical history, psychosocial history, physical examination, and dietary history. It is used to treat an illness or condition, or as a means to prevent or delay disease or complications from diseases such as . The purpose of the assessment is to: read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
161. Mellanby, Edward
162. Men's Nutritional Issues
While many diseases and health care issues affect both men and women, certain diseases and conditions exhibited in men may require distinct approaches regarding diagnosis and management. Some of the major issues associated with men's health are related to , , , , impotence, and health. This entry highlights definitions, , treatment, and factors of men's health, as well as nutritional implications. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
163. Menopause
Young girls start menstruating between the ages of eleven and thirteen, when their reproductive systems reach maturity. Women have regular every twenty-eight days until about the age of fifty, at which time menstruation becomes irregular. This irregularity signals the start of . The natural cessation of menstruation occurs due to reduced production of the female and progesterone, which generally occurs between the ages of forty and fifty-five. The age at which a woman enters menopause is affected by , race, and environmental factors. Women can also go into premature menopause, either naturally or due to oophorectomy (the surgical removal of the ovaries). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
164. Metabolism
refers to the physical and chemical processes that occur inside the cells of the body and that maintain life. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the constructive phase) and (the destructive phase, in which complex materials are broken down). The transformation of the macronutrients , fats, and in food to , and other processes are parts of the process. ATP (adinosene triphosphate) is the major form of energy used for cellular metabolism. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
165. Minerals
are inorganic elements that originate in the earth and cannot be made in the body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential . Most of the minerals in the human come directly from plants and water, or indirectly from animal foods. However, the mineral content of water and plant foods varies geographically because of variations in the mineral content of soil from region to region. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
166. Mood-Food Relationships
Research on the connection between a person's mood and the food he or she eats has reveled what many people have long believed, that eating a certain food can influence a person's mood—at least temporarily. Research by Judith Wurtman, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has focused on how certain foods alter one's mood by influencing the level of certain brain chemicals called . While many other factors influence the level of these chemicals, such as , heredity, , and alcohol, three neurotransmitters—dopamine, norepinephrine, and —have been studied in relation to food, and this research has shown that neurotransmitters are produced in the brain from components of certain foods. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
167. National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
The National Academy of Sciences is a private agency that advises the federal government on scientific and technical matters. It is part of the National Academy, which also includes the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
168. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
In the year 1999, 64 percent of the U.S. population was or , while the of among children and adolescents more than doubled during the previous two decades. Fifty-six percent of women over the age of fifty had low bone density, and 16 percent were suffering from the debilitating disease of . And while smoking prevalence hit an all-time low among adults, it has continued to increase among America's youth. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
169. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) are charged with the vital mission of uncovering new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone. To carry out this ambitious task, the NIH has become the largest agency for biomedical research in the world. It consists of twenty-seven separate institutes and centers and has a multibillion-dollar budget. However, it did not start out this way. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
170. Native Americans, Diet of
When Christopher Columbus dropped anchor on the shores of San Salvador in the Caribbean Sea, he believed he reached India. Because he believed he was in India, Columbus named the inhabitants a term that was soon used to refer to all the native inhabitants of North America. Today, the term is more commonly used. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
171. Nongovernmental Organizations
The term (NGO) gained widespread use beginning in 1945, when it was used in the United Nations Charter to clearly distinguish between governmental and private organizations. To be considered an NGO, an organization must be free from government control, non-profit, not considered a political party, and not involved in criminal activity. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
172. Northern Europeans, Diet of
The countries of northern Europe include the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), the Republic of Ireland (now a sovereign country), and France. (Although southern France is generally considered to be part of southern Europe, it will be included in this discussion.) These countries are all part of the European Union. England and France have a very diverse population due to the large number of immigrants from former colonies and current dependent territories. Catholicism and Protestantism are the dominant religions. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
173. Nutrient Density
density is a measure of the nutrients a food provides compared to the it provides. Foods low in calories and high in nutrients are while foods high in calories and low in nutrients are Nutrient-dense foods should be eaten often, whereas nutrient-poor foods should only be eaten occasionally. A healthful includes mostly nutrient-dense foods. People who restrict their calories should obtain as much as they can from the calories they consume by choosing nutrient-dense foods. Those who consistently choose nutrient-poor foods will not get the nutrients they need. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
174. Nutrient-Drug Interactions
Medications have become an integral part of life for many people. Medicine serves to help people when they are sick, allowing them to live longer and healthier lives. With rapidly growing research and technology, medications are more beneficial, and new ones continue to be discovered. do need to be taken with caution, however. All medications, whether prescribed by a doctor or bought , are capable of harmful side effects. The foods people eat contain that are used by the body to produce . Sometimes, certain medications may interact with both the food eaten and the nutrients the food gives to the body for proper functioning. When the body is unable to use a nutrient due to a drug that has been taken, a nutrient-drug interaction has occurred. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
175. Nutrients
An important aspect of is the daily intake of . Nutrients consist of various chemical substances in the food that makes up each person's . Many nutrients are essential for life, and an adequate amount of nutrients in the diet is necessary for providing , building and maintaining read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
176. Nutrition
Nutrition is the science that studies the interactions between living organisms and food. Human nutrition includes the study of and other substances found in foods; how the human body uses nutrients for growth and maintenance; and the relationship between foods, food components, dietary patterns, and health. The study of nutrition encompasses all aspects of the ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, interaction, storage, and excretion of nutrients by the body. In a broader sense, the study of nutrition also includes the various psychological, sociological, cultural, technological, and economic factors that affect the foods and dietary patterns chosen by an individual. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
177. Nutrition Education
education is a critical component of most major health promotion and disease prevention programs. Research indicates that change is directly related to the amount of nutrition education received. Nutrition Education involves the communication of nutrition-related information that will equip individuals, families, and communities to make healthful food choices. The media remain the primary source of nutrition information in the United States. Thus, nutrition education also focuses on discriminating between credible and noncredible sources of nutrition information. Nutrition messages and programs must be culturally relevant and specific to the target group. Registered dietitians are the professionals who are specifically trained to deliver information on food and nutrition. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
178. Nutrition Programs in the Community
In the United States, as in most developed countries, a number of services and programs exist to help those who are in need due to age, illness, poverty or adverse circumstances. This is often not the case in less-developed countries, where individuals and communities experience hardships due to a lack of social, health, and welfare services. In the United States, private charitable organizations, churches, and the government assist in providing what is often called a "safety net" of services, including or food services, to prevent or reduce deprivation for individuals and communities. The nutrition programs that have the greatest impact are those supported by the government, and in most cases the federal government provides resources to states through various funding methods. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
179. Nutritional Assessment
A assessment is an in-depth evaluation of both objective and subjective data related to an individual's food and intake, lifestyle, and medical history. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
180. Nutritional Deficiency
occur when a person's intake consistently falls below the recommended requirement. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems, the most prevalent of which are , beriberi, , pellagra, and . Anemia occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells to transport from the lungs to the body's cells. The most common symptom of anemia is a constant feeling of . Making sure that one's contains the proper amounts of , , and vitamin B can prevent anemia. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
181. Nutritionist
Nutritionists are individuals who have studied the science of . Many nutritionists have a master's or doctoral degree in nutrition science and conduct research on food safety, eating habits, or the impact of food and nutrition on health. Some nutritionists are registered dietitians (RDs). An RD is a health professional who is trained to provide reliable nutrition advice and care in a variety of settings. In many states, nutritionists must be licensed or certified to practice in and community settings. These licensed or certified nutritionists must meet the same requirements as an RD. Otherwise, many people with little or no education in nutrition science may be called nutritionists or nutrition counselors. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
182. Obesity
, defined as a of 30 or greater, is an epidemic in the United States and other industrialized nations, and it is rapidly becoming one in developing nations. As countries transition to westernized lifestyles, obesity tends to increase. Obesity rates vary from as little as 2 percent in some Asian countries to as much as 75 percent in some Pacific nations. There are more than 300 million persons in the world, and more than 750 million persons. In the United States, 34 percent of adults are over-weight and 30.5 percent are obese. Between 1980 and 2000, the percentage of overweight children ages six to eleven doubled, from 7 percent to 15 percent, and the percentage of overweight adolescents ages twelve to nineteen tripled, from 5 percent to 16 percent (Ogden, et al.). In Europe, the thinnest country is Sweden, with about 10 percent obesity, while the fattest is Lithuania, with about 79 percent obesity. The sad fact is the of obesity appears to be increasing in all countries. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
183. Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty acids
are organic compounds composed of carbon chains of varying lengths, with an acid group on one end and hydrogen bound to all the carbons of the chain. (EFAs) are those that are necessary for health, but cannot be synthesized by the body. Therefore, it is important to supply the body with EFAs through one's daily dietary intake. EFAs are also called or They are important ingredients for the growth and maintenance of cells. The body utilizes essential fatty acids for production, specifically for the production of , which aid in reducing , migraine headaches, and . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
184. Oral Health
Oral tissues, such as the gingiva (gums), teeth, and muscles of mastication (chewing muscles), are living tissues, and they have the same as any other living tissue in the body. When adequate, nutritious food is not available, oral health may be compromised by nutrient-deficiency diseases, such as . In contrast, when food is freely available, as in many industrialized societies, oral health may be compromised by both the continual exposure of the oral to food and the presence of diseases, such as . The not only affects the number and kinds of carious lesions (cavities), but also is an important factor in the development of periodontal disease (gum disease). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
185. Oral Rehydration Therapy
Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) involves the replacement of fluids and lost during an episode of diarrheal illness. Diarrheal illnesses are pervasive worldwide, and they have a particularly large impact in the developing world. Children under the age of five are the major victims and account for over 3 million deaths a year due to associated with diarrheal illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over one million deaths are prevented annually by ORT. An oral rehydration solution (ORS) is the cornerstone of this treatment. Between 90 and 95 percent of cases of , watery diarrhea can be successfully treated with ORT. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
186. Organic Foods
In response to a need to standardize the use of such terms as and the U.S. Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which established the U.S. National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). In 1995, the NOSB defined as "an production management system that promotes and enhances , cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony." Organic production uses "materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole," though such practices "cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues" of pesticides, herbicides, and other additives or contaminants. However, "methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil, and water. Organic food handlers, processors, and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people" (NOSB). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
187. Organisms, Food-Borne
Food-borne organisms are , , and that can cause illnesses which are either infectious or toxic in nature. They enter the body through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Every person is at risk of food-borne illness, although infants, the elderly, the , and the are particularly at risk. Food-borne illness may be mild, seriously debilitating, or even fatal. Illness is typically characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, or both, but it can also involve other parts of the body, such as the central . Food-borne illness outbreaks most often result from inadequate cooking, inadequate holding temperatures, cross-contamination, unsafe food sources, and poor personal . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
188. Osteomalacia
is a disease in which insufficient mineralization leads to a softening of the bones. Usually, this is caused by a deficiency of , which reduces bone formation by altering and . Osteomalacia can occur because of reduced exposure to sunlight (which, after touching the skin, causes the body to make vitamin D), insufficient intake of vitamin D–enriched foods (like vitamin D–fortified milk), or improper digestion and of food with vitamin D (as in disorders such as or celiac disease). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
189. Osteopenia
Osteopenia is defined as the stage of low bone density that precedes . At this stage, bone density is below average but not as low as occurs with osteoporosis. The World Health Organization formed a committee in 1994 to define osteoporosis, and four categories were defined: normal, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and established osteoporosis. All of these categories are measured by bone density and the prevalence of fractures. In osteopenia, bone density falls between one standard deviation and 2.5 standard deviations below average. Risk factors include age, race, and ethnicity, and the use of . Although treatment for osteopenia is largely affected by age and the presence of fractures, women between the ages of fifty and seventy can prevent it by taking with and exercising regularly. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
190. Osteoporosis
, which is characterized by a decrease in the mass of otherwise normal bone is the most common bone disease. Normal bone is made of a hard outer shell (the cortex) and an inner network of spicules (fibers), called trabeculae, that give bone its characteristic strength. Bone mass is maintained at a progressive and then constant level until around the age of thirty-five. This maintenance is accomplished through bone remodeling, a cycle of breaking down and building up of bone. This cycle is controlled by cells, which make bone, and osteoclast cells, which destroy bone. Beginning around age forty, the rate at which bone breaks down can exceed that at which it is built, resulting in diminished mass and a diminished amount of in the bone. For women, in addition to this normal age-related bone loss, and its subsequent reduction in female levels (specifically ) cause a specific loss in cortical and trabecular bone. In those who develop osteoporosis, the reduction in cortical and trabecular bone can be up to 30-40 percent, resulting in fragile bones that are prone to fracture. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
191. Overweight
The term is used to describe an excess amount of total body weight including all tissues (fat, bone, muscle, etc.) and water. , in contrast, is an excess amount of body fat. An adult woman or man who has a body-fat percentage exceeding 35 percent (for women) or 25 percent (for men) is considered . A person can be overweight without being obese, as many professional football players and bodybuilders are, for such individuals have large amounts of muscle but not much fat. Likewise, a person can be obese without being overweight, such as some elderly individuals or lazy "couch potatoes," who may not weigh a lot but have too much body fat. However, almost all obese people are also overweight. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
192. Pacific Islander Americans, Diet of
The Pacific Islands contain 789 habitable islands and are divided into the three geographic areas: Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are over a million Pacific Islanders in the United States, most of whom live in California, Hawaii, Washington, Utah, and Texas. Pacific Islander ethnicities in the United States include Carolinian, Fijian, Guamanian, Hawaiian, Kosraean, Melanesian, Micronesian, Northern Mariana Islander, Palauan, Papua New Guinean, Ponapean, Polynesian, Samoan, Solomon Islander, Tahitian, Tarawa Islander, Tongan, Trukese (Chuukese), and Yapese. Prior to 1980, Pacific Islander Americans (except Hawaiians) were classified with Asian Americans under the classification of "Asian and Pacific Islander American." Today, the U.S. Census Bureau includes Pacific Islander Americans under the classification of "Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander." Pacific Islanders are a racially and culturally diverse population group, and they follow a wide variety of religions and have an array of languages. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
193. Pacific Islanders, Diet of
The Pacific Ocean—the world's largest ocean—extends about 20,000 kilometers from Singapore to Panama. There are 789 habitable islands within the "Pacific Islands," a geographic area in the western Pacific comprising Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Polynesia includes 287 islands and is triangular, with Hawaii, New Zealand, and Easter Island at the apexes. Other major Polynesian islands include American (Eastern) Samoa, Western Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, and the Society Islands. The Hawaiian Islands have been studied more than most other Pacific islands primarily because Hawaii is part of the United States of America. The Melanesian Islands (Melanesia) include the nations of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia (a French dependent). The 2,000 small islands of Micronesia include Guam (American), Kiribati, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Gilbert Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Migration is very fluid between Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, and many Pacific Islanders also migrate to the United States and other countries. Pacific Islanders are a racially and culturally diverse population, and the people of the islands follow a wide variety of religions. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
194. Pasteur, Louis
195. Pasteurization
, a process discovered by Louis Pasteur (while trying to inactivate spoilage organisms in beer and wine), occurs when a product is heated to a specific temperature for a specified length of time. This process is now applied to a wide array of food products, such as milk, fruit juice, cheese, and water. Milk is heated to 145°F (63°C) for thirty minutes (or to 160°F [71°C] for fifteen seconds) and then rapidly cooled to 50°F (10°C) for storage. In developing countries, heating water to 149°F (65°C) for six minutes will kill enough contaminates to make the water safe to drink. Pasteurization protects consumers from harmful such as Mycobacterium and Coxiella Burnetii in milk, and pasteurized products benefit from longer shelf life. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
196. Pauling, Linus
197. Pellagra
198. Pemberton, John S.
199. Pesticides
Pesticide use is widespread in agriculture throughout the world, raising serious questions about the dangers theses substances pose to human health and the . Pesticides are substances intended to prevent, destroy, or repel injurious plants or animals. The term is frequently defined more broadly to include insecticides, herbicides (used to inhibit the growth and reproduction of certain plants), and fungicides (used to inhibit the growth of molds, mildews, and yeasts). read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
200. Phenylketonuria (PKU)
(fee-nyl-key-ton-uria), or PKU, is an inherited disease that results in severe developmental delay and problems when treatment is not started very early and maintained throughout life. The disease is caused by the absence of the phenylalanine hydroxylase, which normally converts the phenylalanine to another amino acid, tyrosine. This results in a build-up of phenylalanine and a low level of tyrosine, which causes a variety of problems, including cognitive decline, learning disabilities, behavior or neurological problems, and skin disorders. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
201. Phytochemicals
are naturally occurring chemicals in plants that provide flavor, color, texture, and smell. Phytochemicals have potential health effects, as they may boost production or activity, which may, in turn, block , suppress cells, or interfere with processes that can cause and . Phytochemical-rich foods include vegetables (e.g., broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage), vegetables (e.g., carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips), vegetables (e.g., garlic, onions, leek), berries, citrus fruits, whole grains, and (e.g., soybeans, beans, lentils, peanuts). In the early twenty-first century, identification of the role of phytochemicals in health is an emerging area of science, and the global health community does not recommend supplementation with any specific phytochemicals. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
202. Pica
Pica is defined as a compulsion to consume nonfood substances. Persons with pica crave items such as dirt, clay, paint chips, plaster, chalk, cornstarch, laundry starch, baking soda, coffee grounds, cigarette ashes, burnt match heads, cigarette butts, and rust. The cause of pica is poorly understood, but this strange behavior is often seen in those who are iron-deficient, particularly pregnant woman, even though none of the craved items contain significant amounts of iron. Pica can be dangerous during pregnancy, since consuming large amounts of some substances may cause deficiencies, intestinal problems, or lead to toxicity, placing both mother and baby at risk. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
203. Plant-Based Diets
Plant-based diets are comprised of meals made predominately from a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, and nuts, with minimal amounts of . Many professional organizations recommend a plant-based to help prevent diseases such as , , and . This is because such a diet is usually high in and low in . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
204. Popular Culture, Food and
Food is very much a part of popular culture, and the beliefs, practices, and trends in a culture affect its eating practices. Popular culture includes the ideas and objects generated by a society, including commercial, political, media, and other systems, as well as the impact of these ideas and objects on society. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
205. Pregnancy
during the preconception period, as well as throughout a pregnancy, has a major impact on pregnancy outcome. Among prepregnancy considerations, the prepregnancy (BMI), folic acid status, and are the most important. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
206. Premenstrual Syndrome
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by emotional and physical symptoms that can be troubling and cause moderate discomfort for women the week or two before the onset of their menstrual cycle. PMS is estimated to affect up to 40 percent of reproductive-aged women. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of these women experience symptoms so severe that it totally impairs their everyday . This severe form of PMS is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The precise of PMS is still unknown; however, it is increasingly believed that the sensitive equilibrium between female sex (the and progesterone) and in the brain is altered in women with PMS. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
207. Preschoolers and Toddlers, Diet of
At approximately age one, children enter the latent period of growth. During this period, until the onset of , growth and are more gradual than during the first year. Physical growth steadies, and the body begins to look more proportioned as it prepares for an "upright" . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
208. Probiotics
Probiotics are live, that may interact with and vaginal . Clinical studies indicate that certain probiotics may be useful in treating some diarrheal disorders, respiratory , and , as well as in controlling inflammation and reducing the risk of vaginitis and colon . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
209. Protein
are compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, , and , which are arranged as strands of . They play an essential role in the cellular maintenance, growth, and functioning of the human body. Serving as the basic structural molecule of all the tissues in the body, protein makes up nearly 17 percent of the total body weight. To understand protein's role and function in the human body, it is important to understand its basic structure and composition. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
210. Quackery
Quackery is a type of health fraud that promotes products and services that have questionable and unproven scientific bases. Quackery is short for quack-salver, which is derived from two Middle Dutch terms that mean "healing with unguents." However, quacken means "to boast," so a kwakzalver might be a healer who boasts about his power or products. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
211. Recommended Dietary Allowances
The (RDAs) are intake levels that meet the needs of most healthy Americans. They were originally developed by the National Academy of Sciences, and were based on nutrient levels that would prevent nutrient deficiencies. Since the mid-1990s, RDAs have been developed as one component of nutrient intake standards called (DRIs). RDAs, developed as part of DRIs, target nutrient levels needed not only to prevent nutrient deficiencies, but also to reduce the risk of disease. They are meant to be intake goals averaged over several days, rather than daily requirements. RDAs can help people establish eating habits that promote health and reduce disease risk. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
212. Refugee Nutrition Information System
Every year, thousands of individuals are displaced from their homes and homelands because of wars, political conflicts, and natural disasters. The Refugee Nutrition Information System (RNIS) was established in 1993 to collect data and report on the nutrition, health, and survival status of the most nutritionally vulnerable people in the world, including refugees, internally displaced populations, and those who are forced to migrate. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
213. Regional Diet, American
It is quite clear that nutritional intake is associated with common health conditions such as , (), , (high blood sugar), and disease. People in the United States make daily decisions related to grocery purchases, meal choices, food preparation, and other factors influencing their consumption of food and , and, thus, likely affecting their health. However, much of the current knowledge and most published works are based on studies or other information that concern the general population. This information is important in influencing dietary patterns, but additional information is needed regarding specific regional and minority populations. Additionally, more detailed information is necessary to determine if there are any differences or similarities between these subpopulations. What follows is a general literature review related to minority groups in the United States. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
214. Regulatory Agencies
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, increased levels of terrorist activities and a higher of food-borne illness made regulation and protection of the food supply a worldwide concern. The goal of food regulatory agencies is to ensure that the public food supply is safe from disease caused by infection from human handling or by contamination from chemical or other hazardous substances. Such contamination can occur during all phases of food production, including cultivation, harvesting, processing, packaging, storage, and cooking. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
215. Religion and Dietary Practices
Since the beginning of time, dietary practices have been incorporated into the religious practices of people around the world. Some religious sects abstain, or are forbidden, from consuming certain foods and drinks; others restrict foods and drinks during their holy days; while still others associate dietary and food preparation practices with of the faith. The early biblical writings, especially those found in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy of the Old Testament (and in the Torah) outlined the dietary practices for certain groups (e.g., Christians and Jews), and many of these practices may still be found among these same groups today. Practices such as fasting (going without food and/or drink for a specified time) are described as tenets of faith by numerous religions. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
216. Rice-based Diets
Rice is the most important cereal crop for human consumption. It is the staple food for over 3 billion people (most of them poor) constituting over half of the world's population. All of the world's great civilizations developed only after the domestication of various cereal grains, which provided an adequate food supply for large populations. These have included corn in the Americas, wheat in the Near East and southern Europe (Greece and Rome), and rice in China and India. The use of rice spread rapidly from China, India, and Africa, and at the present time it is used as a principal food throughout the world. After the discovery of the Americas, the use of rice took hold in both continents. The national dish of Belize in Central America, for example, is composed of rice and beans. There are now hundreds of rice recipes, with each ethnic cuisine having developed individual recipes. Almost all cookbooks have rice recipes, including recipes for risottos and pilafs. Vegetarians, in particular, cherish rice because it is such an excellent food and can be prepared in so many different and appetizing ways. Rice, delicious in itself, readily takes on any flavor that is added. Long-grain rice, when cooked, becomes separate and fluffy, while medium-grain rice is somewhat chewier. Short-grain rice tends to clump together and remains sticky with its starchy sauce. Arborio is an example of a short-grained rice. Wehani rice has a nutty flavor. Basmati rice (aromatic) is very popular, as is jasmine rice. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
217. Rickets
was once considered an extremely common disorder of childhood. The term itself is derived from the old English word for "twist," or "wrick," and throughout history children with rickets could be identified by their bowed legs and knock knees, which gave them a twisted appearance. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
218. Rosenstein, Nils Rosén von
219. Satiety
Satiety is a feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating. It is the opposite of hunger or appetite. The mechanisms and events that lead to a state of satiety are numerous, complex, and not well understood. It is believed that the release of certain and the firing of certain nerves when food enters the intestine sends messages to the brain to signal that it is time to stop eating. predisposition and may affect at what point satiety occurs in an individual. Learning to stop eating when satiety is reached is an important component of weight control. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
220. Scandinavians, Diet of
Scandinavia is a peninsula in northern Europe that is occupied by Norway and Sweden. Denmark is also generally considered to be part of Scandinavia because of its historical, political, and cultural ties to Norway and Sweden. These three countries are also part of the Nordic countries, which also include Finland and Iceland. With the exception of Denmark and Iceland, these countries are located north of the Baltic and North Seas and share common borders with each other and Russia. All of these countries are part of the Nordic Council. The Nordic countries have historical and cultural ties, and during the Viking era they had a common language and religion. They are also predominantly Protestant countries. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
221. School Food Service
There are 48 million school children who are served by school food services in the United States everyday. Many of these children participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which was established by Congress in 1946 to provide low-cost or free nutritionally sound lunches to public school children. By 1946, about 7.1 million children were being served. This grew to 22 million by 1970, and by 2000 more than 27.4 million children were fed through the NSLP. Since 1946 more than 180 billion lunches have been served. School food service and the NSLP play a very important role in children's learning. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
222. School-Aged Children, Diet of
The category of school-aged children includes children three to four years old who are preschoolers; elementary school children (kindergarten to fourth grade), who may be between four and ten years of age; middle school children between eleven and thirteen (grades five to eight); and high school children fourteen to eighteen (grades nine to twelve). Often, the their bodies need for optimal functioning and growth are different for each of these age groups. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
223. Scurvy
224. Small for Gestational Age
Small for gestational age, also known as intrauterine growth retardation, is defined as an infant or fetus smaller in size than expected, meaning a weight in the bottom tenth percentile for a particular age. Small for gestational age is believed to be related to placental insufficiency, infectious disease, malformations, drug and alcohol abuse, and cigarette smoking. Other risk factors include maternal , first pregnancies, and exposure to environmental . It is considered to be one cause of low birth weight (less than twenty-five hundred grams, or five pounds eight ounces). It is not synonymous with prematurity, which is defined as birth before thirty-seven-weeks gestation. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
225. Smoking
Smoking is an important and preventable cause of death and illness. However, as more money has been spent on smoking cessation programs, the of cigarette smoking has risen. In 2002, 48 percent of men and 12 percent of women in the world were smokers (World Health Organization). Tobacco consumption increased from 1,100 million individuals during the early 1990s to 1,300 million by the year 2000 (United Nations Economic and Social Council). At this rate, the number of tobacco-related deaths is projected to reach more than 9 million by the year 2020. The number of tobacco-related deaths increased from 4.2 million to 4.9 million between 2000 and 2002, meaning that more than nine people die due to smoking-related illnesses every minute. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
226. Society for Nutrition Education
The Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) is an organization of nutrition professionals whose aim is to be involved in nutrition education and health promotion. The organization represents professional interests in nutrition education within the United States and worldwide. SNE is dedicated to promoting healthy, sustainable food choices and has a vision of healthy people in healthy communities. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
227. South Americans, Diet of
South America is the fourth largest continent on the planet, making up 12 percent of the earth's surface. It contains twelve independent nations: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. In addition, it contains three territories: The Falkland Islands (Great Britain), French Guiana (France), and the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador). The continent has a very diverse population. There are small pockets of native Indian groups and significant numbers of descendents of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, West African, and East Indians settlers. There also are considerable numbers of Chinese and Japanese. Approximately 90 to 95 percent of South Americans are Roman Catholic. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
228. Southern Europeans, Diet of
Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and southern France make up the region known as southern Europe. Southern France is included because it is culturally similar to the rest of southern Europe. Greece is often grouped with eastern Europe; however, it is included here because Greek food has greatly influenced the cuisine of southern Europe. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
229. Soy
A member of the legume family, the soybean is rich in omega-3 , , folic acid, , magnesium, potassium, and the and is also free and low in . The in soybeans is complete, containing all the essential found in animal sources (4 ounces of [soybean curd] contain the same amount and quality of protein as a similar-size hamburger). For individuals who want to include more plant-based protein in their and particularly for those on a vegetarian diet, soy products provide a way to add nonmeat protein to the diet. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
230. Space Travel and Nutrition
has played a critical role throughout the history of exploration, and space exploration is no exception. While a one- to two-week flight aboard the Space Shuttle might be analogous to a camping trip, adequate nutrition is absolutely critical when spending several months aboard the International Space Station or several years on a mission to another planet. To ensure adequate nutrition, space-nutrition specialists must know how much of various individual astronauts need, and these nutrients must be available in the spaceflight food system. To complicate matters, spaceflight are influenced by many of the changes that occur during spaceflight. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
231. Sports Nutrition
Aside from training, is the most important influence on sports performance. To reach one's highest potential, all of the body's systems must be working optimally. The best way to achieve this is to eat a variety of nutritious foods. , , , , , , and fluids all play a unique and crucial role. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
232. Stark, William
233. Sustainable Food Systems
A is a process that aims to create a more direct link between the producers (farmers) of food and and the consumers of the food. This system consists of several components, including production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste disposal. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
234. The Green Revolution
The Green Revolution (GR) refers to the use of high-yield variety (HYV) seeds, which were invented by the crop geneticist Norman Borlaugh. HYVs are normally used as a part of a technological package that also includes biochemical inputs such as water, fertilizers, and pesticides, and often mechanical inputs. The GR, which started in the 1960s, is the last of the four agricultural revolutions in the world. It has been used in more than one hundred poor countries and has made possible a "revolutionary" increase in food production. The origin of the Green Revolution can be traced to the early twentieth century and the Malthusian fear that world food production would eventually fail to feed the growing population. This would result in a "red revolution" by the hungry. The implications of the GR for agrarian change, and especially for smaller farmers and laborers, have been widely debated. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
235. Toxemia
Toxemia is the presence of abnormal substances in the blood, but the term is also used in reference to a condition in pregnancy also known as This refers to pregnancy-induced hypertension () and any possible accompanying symptoms, such as quick or sudden weight gain, water retention, and excessive swelling of the feet, hands, and face. The condition is most common among first pregnancies, with multiple births (e.g., twins), in younger or older women, and in women who had preeclampsia in previous pregnancies. It generally occurs near the due date, but it can also occur earlier in pregnancy. When monitoring a female with toxemia, the and urine are checked often and bed rest may be prescribed. Toxemia can be mild or severe. When severe, it is dangerous for both the pregnant female and her child, especially if the mother's blood pressure gets too high. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
236. Tulp, Nicolaas
237. Underweight
A person is considered underweight if his or her (BMI) falls below a certain threshold (body mass index is a measure determined by a person's age, height, and weight). For infants and children, a BMI below the 10th percentile for a specific age indicates an individual who is underweight. For adults, a BMI below 19.1 for females and 20.7 for males is considered underweight. A BMI of 17.5 indicates an individual is very underweight. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
238. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created in 1946. It was renamed the United Nations Children's Fund in 1953, when the fund's focus changed from emergency aid to on going support of children's needs. The acronym UNICEF was retained, however. With eight regional offices and 125 country offices, UNICEF strives to create a world where all children share in the joy and promise of childhood with dignity, security, and self-fulfillment. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
239. Vegan
A (pronounced VEE-gun) is a vegetarian who does not eat any animal products, including eggs and dairy products. A well-planned vegan can be nutritionally adequate, even for children and pregnant and lactating women. However, it is important that wise food selections are made. These selections include soymilk with vitamin B, , and . Also important are whole grains, nuts, and seeds, which are rich sources of and other . Foods high in vitamin C will help to increase . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
240. Vegetarianism
A vegetarian eating plan, also known as plant-based eating, is based on a diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, with occasional use of dairy and egg products. This style of eating has existed since the beginning of recorded history. As early as 600 B.C.E., a vegetarian movement was founded in ancient Rome. Vegetarian eating became popular in England and the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. For many individuals, their whole is defined by their vegetarian eating. In 1998, 7 percent of American adults considered themselves to be vegetarians. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
241. Vitamins, Fat-Soluble
Because they dissolve in , A, D, E, and K are called vitamins. They are absorbed from the small , along with dietary fat, which is why fat resulting from various diseases (e.g., cystic fibrosis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease) is associated with poor of these vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are primarily stored in the liver and . With the exception of vitamin K, fat-soluble vitamins are generally excreted more slowly than vitamins, and vitamins A and D can accumulate and cause toxic effects in the body. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
242. Vitamins, Water-Soluble
are essential organic substances that are needed in small amounts in the for the normal function, growth, and maintenance of body tissues. vitamins consist of the and vitamin C. With exception of vitamin B and B, they are readily excreted in urine without appreciable storage, so frequent consumption becomes necessary. They are generally nontoxic when present in excess of needs, although symptoms may be reported in people taking megadoses of , vitamin C, or pyridoxine (vitamin B). All the B vitamins function as coenzymes or cofactors, assisting in the activity of important enzymes and allowing energy-producing reactions to proceed normally. As a result, any lack of water-soluble vitamins mostly affects growing or rapidly metabolizing tissues such as skin, blood, the digestive tract, and the . Water-soluble vitamins are easily lost with overcooking. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
243. Waist-to-Hip Ratio
Waist-to-hip ratio is defined as the measurement of waist circumference divided by hip circumference (for example, a waist measurement of 33 and a hip measurement of 44 give a ratio of .75). It is used as a risk-factor assessment tool for , , and type-2 . Excess body fat is considered a risk factor for the degenerative diseases, particularly abdominal fat, and the waist-to-hip ratio is used to determine the risk. A waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and more than 35 inches in women, or a waist-to-hip ratio of more than 1.0 for men and more than 0.8 for women, indicate an increased risk for the above diseases. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
244. Water
Water is a colorless and odorless liquid made up of containing two of hydrogen and one atom of . Water is essential for all life to exist, as it makes up more than 70 percent of most living things. While a human can survive more than a week without food, a person will die within a few days without water. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
245. Weight Loss Diets
With over 50 percent of the population of the United States and other industrialized countries being either or , a great number of people want to lose weight. However, weight loss is not easy—and not often successful. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
246. Weight Management
is a condition, meaning it is unlikely to be cured, so interventions are needed to help people change their habits and improve their quality of life and their functioning. The goal of weight management for people is to help them improve their unhealthful dietary and habits. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
247. Wellness
is a state of being in good health, both physically and mentally, and of being free of (and not at risk for) illness. To maintain wellness, individuals need to follow a regimen of periodic risk assessment and adopt behavior changes that lead to a lower risk of acquiring certain diseases. Wellness is the goal behind efforts at health promotion and disease prevention and includes physical fitness, optimal , and spiritual, social, and emotional health. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
248. White, Ellen G.
249. Whole Foods Diet
The term refers to foods that have not been processed or refined, including whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Whole foods contain compounds known as that may reduce the risk for many diseases. In addition, whole grains, such as brown rice and whole wheat, include the whole kernel of the germ, which includes elements such as that make them more nutritious than refined grains. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
250. WIC Program
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is funded and administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture in partnership with states and local agencies. Its purpose is to serve as an adjunct to good health care during critical times of growth and in order to prevent the occurrence of health problems. It serves pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children up to five years of age. Eligibility criteria include poverty and an identified medical or nutritional risk. Program benefits include nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to maternal and child health services. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
251. Wilson, Owen
252. Women's Nutritional Issues
Women have special nutritional needs due to hormonal changes that occur with menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and , all of which alter the recommended daily intake of . Of the many diseases that affect women, five have a scientific-based connection to : iron-deficiency , , , type 2 , and some types of . In addition, many women look to nutrition for the management of premenstrual and symptoms. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
253. World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international group of one hundred and ninety-one member states devoted to the maintenance and improvement of the health of all people throughout the world. Member states are divided into six geographic regions: Southeast Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas, Africa, the Western Pacific, and Europe. The director general of the organization oversees the mission to preserve, maintain, and improve health through education, nutritional support, health activities, management of disease outbreaks, response to emergencies, and funding programs. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
254. Xerophthalmia
Xerophthalmia is a severe drying of the eye surface caused by a malfunction of the tear glands. Also found in people with immune disorders, it occurs most commonly because of decreased intake or of vitamin A. Symptoms include night blindness and eye irritation. In addition to the eyes being very dry, there is a loss of luster on their surface. At later stages, the corneas become soft, with increased . read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z
255. Yo-Yo Dieting
Yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling, is the repeated losing and regaining of weight. This phenomenon is very common in societies that place an emphasis on being thin. People who lose weight through dieting often regain weight in a short time, and they often add more weight than they lost. Yo-yo dieting may increase the risk of developing , , and . It may also increase emotional distress and contribute to a sense of failure and low self-esteem. read more | Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z

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