Does diet affect your health? The term ‘Balanced Diet’ means a diet which consists of all variety of food types such as fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy products, grain, pulses, fats and oils. The idea is to eat all these food types in proportions so that the body attains all the nutrients and essentials, in order to work properly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Proportional eating meaning according to what each particular food group has to offer and what affect it will have on the body after intake.
As for ‘health’, health could be defined as for many people as the body being free of all diseases and illnesses and to be working to its most efficient and effective level according to views from society but these views can vary from country to country and even person to person as everybody’s reality and situation is different in the sense that different societies define certain ideas and concepts according to what they believe is the most correct to them, so the word ‘Health’ could have more than one meaning.
At the same time the ‘World Health Organisation’ in its constitution in 1948 have defined it to be ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’ meaning not just how the body works but at the same time how a person thinks and also fits in to society. According to this Health consists of many constituents and aspects. As to whether diet affects all of these aspects is something we will now look in to. According to my source we have the following facts. Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults; at least 300 million are obese’, (World Health Organisation)
This statement tells me that at least one sixth of the total world population are overweight and that is with out including the youth, but how do we decide weather somebody is overweight. It is assessed by using something called body mass index (BMI), defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height of the person in metres (kg/m2). BMI over 25 kg/m2 is defined as overweight and a BMI of over 30 kg/m2 as obese. (www. nutrition. org. uk).
Obesity and overweight pose major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hyper-tension, stroke and certain forms of cancer’ and ‘The key causes are increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity’ (World Health Organisation). From this I concluded that being obese could cause you all types of problems and one of the main reasons for obesity is eating too many high in saturated fats and sugars, showing that your diet can have a big affect on your health as it affects your body physically.
At the same time mentally as being obese could have social pressures and could cause anxiety, it can also stop you from interacting socially as your size may cause complications in mobility. On the other hand another source tells me that obesity may not be caused by your diet but is actually a genetic factor inside the body. Research was done to found out that some people carry 2 defective copies of a gene called Ob which stops a protein called leptin being produced, this protein is known to suppress appetite and metabolism.
The discovery was made by a group of geneticists in Cambridge who also said ‘Discoveries like this emphasize that severe obesity is a medical condition which may have underlying genetic factors,’ says O’Rahilly (New Scientist). So the case here is that we may have no choice in the change of our body mass as it may already be predetermined in our genes and is something in which we have no choice therefore diet does not affect your health as genetic make-up may have predetermined certain aspects of your body behaviour.
Science shows that genetics plays a role in obesity. Genes can directly cause obesity in disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. (www. cdc. gov) In today’s society diet plays a substantial role in the sense that balanced diets are very difficult ‘While such foods are fast and convenient they also tend to be high in fat, sugar, and calories. Choosing many foods from these areas may contribute to an excessive calorie intake. ‘ (www. cdc. gov).
Because of this fast-food phenomenon, people are constantly bombarded with adverts and commercials of fast, tasty and convenient food therefore is very appealing to people who live frantic and chaotic lives. Therefore do not have the time to eat a ‘balanced diet’. All this causes people to eat unhealthy diets and because of this put on a lot weight. People are then perceived and treated differently by society for being overweight and this can lead the individual to being a social misfit at a fault of there own.
Looking at the other side, there are those who argue that fast and convenient does not always necessarily have to be unhealthy and that there is a wide range of foods for all age groups. For example health food stores such as a store which offers a 6-inch Sandwiches with 6 grams of Fat or Less. (Subway) and even the government are now changing school menus by providing students with healthier alternatives. For example getting rid of desserts and providing fruit instead. All this showing that there are healthier alternatives no matter how old you are and no matter where you are.
So ‘Does diet affect your health? ‘ To conclude I would like to say from all this I have realised that that diet does affect your health as it can lead to obesity which can follow on to further complications. But at the same time other factors play a huge role such as lifestyles, lack of physical activity, self control when choosing a diet and social issues. I got this according to Richard Parsons who states ‘Diet is only one of seven things to affect your health’ (CGP G. C. S. E Physical Education) Therefore diet does affect you health but it is not the only factor to affect your health.