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Todays Date
21 January 2018

What is Nutrition?


– What is Nutrition?

  • Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs (WHO) or the process of nourishing or being nourished
  • Nutrition is important for everyone and is a cornerstone of good health throughout the life cycle
  • Poor nutrition can lead to: reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, reduced productivity
  • Nutrition and food are fuel
  • The benefits of good nutrition are numerous: boost the immune system, improve sport performance, delays ageing, protects teeth and gums, enhanced concentration, fights and prevents disease, energy for life, keeping a healthy weight
  • Nutrition and foods are not always good
  • Malnutrition (over and under nutrition) are huge problems globally
  • Under nutrition – indicates a lack of the necessary energy, protein or micro nutrients required by the body for good health e.g. protein-energy malnutrition
  • Micronutrient deficiencies occur when the body lacks one or more micro nutrients resulting in deficiencies which usually affect growth and immunity e.g. anaemia (iron deficiency)
  • Causes of under nutrition: lack of knowledge, fad diets, disease and illness, life cycle changes, poverty, inadequate diets…
  • Signs of under nutrition:

o Unplanned weight loss

o Weak muscles and/or loss of muscle

o Feeling tired all the time

o Low mood

o Increase in illnesses or infections

o Slow recovery from illness

o Failure to grow at the expected rate

o Changes in behavior such as appearing unusually irritable, sluggish or anxious

  • 842 million people globally, mostly in developing countries suffer from under nutrition and 1 in 3 child deaths are related to under nutrition
  • Iron deficiency anemia can occur when the body has a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the cells of the body – most common cause lack of iron in the diet
  • Consequences include: fatigue, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, pallor and breathlessness
  • Those at risk include: Infants > 6months and toddlers, menstruating women, pregnant women, vegetarians, diets lacking in Vitamin C, people with malabsorption or pathological blood loss
  • Iron rich foods include: dark leafy greens, eggs yolks, broccoli, poultry, quinoa, red meat, shellfish, grains, dried fruits, lentils
  • Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron more efficiently
  • Over nutrition can lead to: Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease
  • According to WHO Obesity is an “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health”


  • The causes of Obesity are numerous and complex and include:
  • Obesity health implications include: stroke, heart disease, pancreatitis, female disorders, arthritis, inflamed veins, gout, cancer, gallstones, liver disease, lung disease, sleep apnea


  • Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce any/enough insulin or when the body cannot use the insulin that it produces
  • There are 2 primary forms of diabetes Type 1 and Type 2
  • Symptoms include: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness, irritability, blurred vision, slow healing cuts…

Cardiovascular Disease

  • Cardiovascular disease is a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and is the number 1 killer globally.
  • Risk factors include: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol, genetics,
  • An unhealthy diet + an inactive lifestyle can lead to elevated blood pressure, blood glucose and blood lipids as well as overweightness or obesity. This can indicate an increased risk of developing a heart attack, stroke of heart failure
  • A healthy diet and lifestyle can help to treat and prevent Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.

Good nutrition is extremely important


Danny Dickerson; CNC, CPT, CCC
Lifestyle Nutrition/Wellness Coach
A Better Way of Life

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