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Dietary Intake in the United Kingdom 3


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DietaryIntake in the United Kingdom

Theprevalence of chronic non-communicable ailments has increased overthe last three decades exerting a heavy burden on the United Kingdomgovernment and society. The increase in occurrence of these diseaseshas been closely associated with changing dietary habits andlifestyle. This has made nutrition and diet a national public issuein UK. Many longitudinal researches have evaluating the dietaryintake have revealed that many people cutting across all ages haveincreased their consumption of non-milk extrinsic sugars andsaturated fatty acids, far and above the recommended levels. Morespecifically, the young generations have been found to have lowmicronutrient intakes. Every micronutrient (mineral ion and vitamin)performs a specific function in the body and a deficient of one ormore of these micro elements result to occurrence of certain diseases(Nath, 2000 Shenkin,2006).

Micronutrientsplay a vital function in the body metabolic activity and in theproper functioning of tissues. Micronutrients are minerals andvitamins that are necessary in the body but that are required insmall amounts. Most of the micro nutrients can be extracted fromvarious varieties of flora and species of fauna. The human bodies donot have the capacity to synthesize all the micro nutrients requiredto perform the various function in different body systems. As suchthese minerals and vitamins must be supplied to the body in the dietthat is taken. Therefore it becomes that a variety of food isincluded in the diet to supply enough amounts of micronutrientsrequired by the body (Mann &amp Truswell, 2007).

Inmany urban setting the type of foods available cannot provideadequate amount of micronutrients in the body. The quantity andquality of food ingested determine the amount of micronutrient thatwill be present in the body. The urban populace prefers high glycemicindex foods such as rice, bread, fruit juices, refined grains andmeat that are considered as the main factors behind the increasedprevalence of ailments such as diabetes (Shetty, 2002). Additionally,the most of the fat that is ingested is saturated, like fats presentin fast foods and different types of margarines. Unsaturated fatslike ones found in nuts, vegetables and other types of unrefinedgrains have some of the most important micronutrients (Whitton, etal, 2011)

Amountsof the Nutrient in the Typical Healthy Diet

Manynational nutrition surveys in the United Kingdom have confirmed thatthere are sufficient amounts of micronutrients in a typical diettaken in the United Kingdom (Whitton,et al, 2011).Other national nutritional and diet surveys have shown that both theyoung and the middle aged between 19 and 45 years, and the elderlyabove 65 years have access to diet that have adequate amount ofminerals and vitamins that comprise micronutrients. Nonetheless thisdoes not mean that dietary intake in the UK inadequate for thegeneral population. Even though most people in the United Kingdom canaccess and afford foodstuffs that are would supply the requiredamount of micronutrients in their body, many still opt to consumefoods that have non-milkextrinsic sugars and have high quantities of saturate fatty acids.National nutritional and diet surveyshave revealed that only 13 % of men and approximately 15% of womenmeet the recommended intake of vegetable and fruits- foodstuffs thatare considered rich in micronutrient (Whitton, et al, 2011).

Evidentlythe content of micronutrients in a classical UK diet has been fallinggradually over the last two decades. This is a consequence of thechanging lifestyle and adoption of sedentary. Almost every meal thatis consumed in the UK has an element of wheat or wheat products. Wheat is rich in mineral ion Selenium which is a vital micro nutrientin the human body. For many years significant quantities of the wheatused in the UK originated from the US, where the soil is rich inelement Selenium. Nowadays most of the wheat comes from the UK andother European nations where the soil has low amount of mineralelement Selenium. Consequently many wheat diets do not meet theoptimum amount of Selenium required by the body as a catalyst toantioxidant enzymes (Shenkin.2006). The dietary intake in the UK for these specific elements istherefore insufficient and might have harmful result to the health ofmany people in the UK. Intake of Selenium has been found to reducethe occurrence of different types of cancer. Sufficient quantities ofmicronutrients can be derived from a balanced diet. Differentvarieties of vegetable and fruits have been found to contain varyingdegree of micronutrient. A well balanced diet will supply al theneeded micronutrients 9 vitamins and mineral ions) (Webster-Gandy,2011).

Lifestyle Stages where Supplement may be Appropriate

Foodsupplements refer to source that have concentrated nutrients that areingested to top up dietary intake. Examples of food supplementsinclude minerals such as iron that shield against anemia, fish oil,vitamins A and K supplements. In most cases food supplements comeinform of capsules. Food supplements have large amounts of nutrientsthat are found in most foods. Around the world about 2 billion peopleare affected by deficiency in micronutrients, and it has resulted todeath at childbirth, has caused mental retardation and avertableblindness (Ransley, 2001).

Nutrientrequirement varies substantially depending on the different lifestages. The physical development and growth of organs dictate thenutrient requirements, and as such an infant will have differentnutrient requirement at different stages. Young ones drasticallyincrease their length and triple their mass between birth and at thetime they are 12 months. Normally a mother’s milk provides most ifnot all of the nutrients required by the baby from birth to when theyare six months. After the age of six months, the nutrient requirementboth macronutrients and micro nutrients soars up owing to the rapidphysical development taking place (Ransley, 2001). Additionally thediet for the baby is gradually changing from an all fluid diet to asolid diet. Supplements is needed I babies that cannot access avariety of foods to warrant adequate amount of micronutrients. Also,infants born prematurely, those that are under the recommended weightfor their age and those that have developed chronic ailments maysupplements to boost the micronutrients the acquire from the normaldaily diet. The health of the mother also affects the nutrientavailable in breast milk for the infants (Tulchinsky &ampVaravikova, 2009). For instance women who go through certain medicalprocesses such a surgery and those that are taking medications mayabsorb inadequate nutrient and as such their babies may needsupplements since their milk may not contain sufficient nutrients.Children born by women who strictly take a vegan diet may needsupplements in Vitamin B12, zinc, calcium, iron and omega-3 fattyacids since they may not access it in their mother breast milk.

Pregnancycreates additional need for specific nutrients such as vitamins,iodine, iron and calcium that may not be present in sufficient amounts in the diet that an expectant mother is taking. Normally a pregnantwoman can derive most of these nutrients from foods such asvegetables, beans, poultry, fish, fruits, unrefined grains and milkproducts. In some settings it may be hard to access such types offoods due to social and economic factors to access foods rich inthese nutrients at this crucial time when they are needed in highquantities (Allen, 2013). Women who get pregnant and cannot accesssuch types of foods daily should take multivitamin supplementscontaining folic acid to avert birth defects. Folic acid is anessential prenatal vitamin for all women so that the infant canacquire nutrients to prevent spinal and brain defects and protect theexpectant mother from conditions such a stroke or cancer. Ironsupplement is also essential at this stage for proper muscledevelopment for the baby prevent anemia and low birth weight (Allen,2006). DHA supplements are also crucial for pregnant women for properfunctioning of the baby’s eyes and brain.

Additionallypeople suffering from certain health conditions such as anemia mayneed food supplements. Anemia occurs as a result of a dearth in ironin the blood stream that is pivotal in the buildup of hemoglobin inred blood cells. Individuals with anemia may find it worthwhile totake supplements to reduce the severity of illness (Ransley, 2001).Micronutrients are vital though needed in small amounts for theproper performance of various body functions. Micronutrients play avital function in the body metabolic activity and in the properfunctioning of tissues. Micronutrients are minerals and vitamins thatare necessary in the body but that are required in small amounts.Most of the micro nutrients can be extracted from various varietiesof plants and animal products. Fruits and vegetable form the mainsource. Micronutrients are needed in varying degrees by people atdifferent stages of their life. Deficient of micronutrients can leadto wide range of body defects and illness such as anemia (irondeficiency), mental retardation, weak immune system andsusceptibility to a wide range of diseases. As said above a typicaldiet for majority of people in the United Kingdom is adequate toprovide the necessary nutrients needed for various body processes.

Nonethelessthe changing lifestyle and adoption of sedentary culture is graduallychanging the eating habit of people. Even though most people in theUnited Kingdom can access and afford foodstuff rich in macro andmicro nutrients, many still opt for fast foods and foodstuff withhigh sugar level and fat content. A well balanced can supply thenutritional need of the body. In some cases supplements should beused in order to boost the nutrient available for the body to carryout various processes. Individuals with chronic disease such asanemia and sickle cell anemia, pregnant women, infants and theelderly in the society may find it important to boost theirnutritional intake by using supplements. Deficient of micronutrientsin the body can lead to poor health, nigh blindness, andsusceptibility to diseases and as such the Role of micronutrients inthe body cannot be underestimated.


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