Nutrition is the science that studies how the various substances in food interact with the human body for maintenance, growth, health and disease. Learn more about nutrients and nutrition in a custom research paper from Paper Masters.
Poor diets are known to have negative health consequences, either in deficiency diseases such as anemia or scurvy, or excess conditions such as obesity, or other chronic conditions such as diabetes. Nutritionists are registered health professionals who can provide guidance and support in creating a healthy diet.
Casimir Funk coined the term "vitamin" in 1912 to describe a vital component of the human diet, and most vitamins were isolated throughout the first decades of the 20th century. The first Recommended Daily Allowances of vitamins and nutrients appeared in 1941. However, the full list of nutrients that human body requires is still incomplete. However, there are two types that are necessary for humans:
- Macronutrients - Nutrients that the body needs in large quantities.
- Micronutrients - Nutrients which are needed in smaller amounts.
Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, fats, protein, and water. These provide structural material for the body, as well as energy. They are the bulk of most people's nutrition. Micronutrients consist of minerals and vitamins. There are macro-minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, as well as trace minerals (copper, chromium, iron, manganese) that are needed in various quantities for essential nutrition.
Nutrition also plays a critical role in the development of childhood obesity. While the link between poor nutrition and low socioeconomic status is often quite evident, in many instances, children are unable to make healthy eating choices because they do not have the basic education that they need to read food labels and understand the information provided. The inability of children to effectively understand food labels creates substantial problems for children as they become more independent in choosing what foods they eat. Questions about how to make it easier for children to understand food labels remains a pervasive concern for health experts.