7.1) Diet

7.1) Diet


Balance diet: is a diet in which all the components needed to maintain health are present in appropriate proportions.


Energy requirements:

The amount of energy we need varies. This is due to the following factors:

  • Age
  • Activity levels
  • Gender



The amount of energy we need tends to increase as we approach adulthood.

The energy needs of adults go down as they age.


Activity level:

People who are active tend to need more energy than sedentary people.



Females tend to have lower energy requirements than males.

Females, on average, a lower body mass than males, which has a lower demand on energy intake.


The effects of malnutrition in relation to starvation, coronary heart disease, constipation, and obesity: Malnutrition: is a condition where certain nutrients of a balanced diet are missing, in excess, or taken in the wrong proportions.



  • Occurs when a person has a severe deficiency of energy, nutrient and vitamin intake.
  • Prolonged starvation may cause organ damage, and if not treated properly, death.


Coronary heart disease:

  • Occurs when the diet contains too much fat.
  • Deposits of a fatty substance buildup in the arteries, which result in blood clots.
  • Blood supply to the heart can be reduced resulting in angina (chest pain when exercising).
  • And eventually a coronary heart attack.



  • Constipation occurs when one finds it difficult to poop 🙂
  • Common causes: lack of fibre intake, lack of water intake.



  • A person is considered obese if his/her body weight is 20%above the standard body weight.
  • An over-abundance of calorie intake, increased dependence on fast food and sugary foods have accelerated the number of obese people.
  • Suffer from high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and diabetes.



  • Is caused by the lack of vitamin C in the diet.
  • Symptoms include bleeding under the skin, swollen and bleeding gums and poor healing of wounds.


    • They are not digested or broken down for energy.
    • Mostly, they are not build into body structures.
    • They are essential in small quantities for health.
    • They are needed for chemical reactions in the cells, working in association with enzymes.

    Mineral salts:

    Mineral ions are only needed in small amounts to maintain a healthy body. A lack of the correct mineral ions in the diet also leads to deficiency symptoms.


Dietary fibre (roughage):

Dietary fibre consists of material in food that cannot be digested, in particular cellulose from plant cell walls.

Sources of fibre include:

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • Cereals


Dietary fibre is important because it provides bulk, which helps the walls of the intestine move food and faeces along the gut. Lack of dietary fibre can lead to constipation.



About two-thirds of the human body is water. It is found in the cytoplasm of our cells and in body fluids like blood.

Sources of water include:

  • food
  • drinks
  • metabolic processes – such as aerobic respiration


Water acts as a solvent and as a transport medium.


Causes and effects of protein-energy malnutrition:


  • Kwashiorkor is caused by a lack of protein in the diet.
  • Infection, plant toxins, digestive failure can also cause kwashiorkor.
  • Symptoms include dry skin, pot-belly, changes to hair colour, weakness and irritability.
  • Marasmus is caused by a very poor diet with inadequate carbohydrates intake as well as a lack of protein.
  • Symptom include reduced fat and muscle tissue, skin is thin and hangs in folds.


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