Nutrition And Health

Sample essay topic, essay writing: Nutrition And Health - 1121 words

.. ses, obesity, and strokes. Factors that are associated with a high incidence of a disease are called risk factors. Some risk factors, such as diet and physical activity, are modifiable, meaning that they can be changed; others, such as genetics, sex, and age cannot be changed (Dr. Solomon 34). Many diseases have genetic components.

A family history of a certain disease is a powerful indicator of a person's tendency to contract that disease. Still, environmental factors are often pivotal in determining whether that tendency will be expressed. Genetic and environmental factors often work synergistically; for instance, cigarette smoking is especially likely to bring on heart disease in people who are predisposed to develop it. Dr. Solomon in his book High Health Diet and Exercise Plan claims:'Risk factors tend to persist over time

Without intervention, a young adult with high blood pressure will most likely continue to have high blood pressure as an older adult. These factors also tend to cluster. For instance, a person who is overweight is likely to be physically inactive, to have high blood pressure, and to have high blood cholesterol - all risk factors associated with heart disease. Intervention that focuses on one risk factor often benefits the others as well. For example, physical activity can reduce weight. Then both physical activity and weight loss will help to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol.'; (36) Some risk factors, such as smoking, dietary habits, physical activity and alcohol consumption, are personal behaviors that can be changed. Decisions not to smoke, to eat a well-balanced diet, to engage in regular physical activity, and to drink alcohol in moderation (if at all) improve the likelihood that a person will enjoy good health.

Other risk factors, such as genetics, sex, and age, also play important roles in the development of chronic diseases. Health recommendations acknowledge the influence of such factors on the development of the disease, but most focus on those that are changeable. Heart disease, collectively known as cardiovascular disease, has made the US the most unhealthy country in the world. It accounts for 50 percent of all deaths, which is ten times higher than in most civilized nations. This disease kills more men than women under the age of 45, but during the later years more women succumb to it (Davis 63).The arteries supplying blood to the heart muscles are arranged somewhat like a crown, or corona; hence they are called the coronary arteries.

Regardless of the variety of heart diseases, these coronary arteries are clogged to some degree with fatty substances. If the circulation has been so decreased that little oxygen reaches the heart, a heart attack known as coronary occlusion occurs. When the clot lodges in the artery of the brain, it kills a portion of the brain tissue - a stroke. Because fatty substances are deposited slowly, years pass before the blood supply is thus completely blocked. In any attack, great masses of cells - perhaps even half the heart itself - are destroyed.

Before health can be restored, fatty deposits must be removed from the arterial walls, more clots prevented from forming, and destroyed area must be gradually filled with normal tissues (Davis 64). Research devoted to probing heart attacks and other circulatory disorders indicate that some forms of these diseases are caused in part by the excessive consumption of foods high in fats, including lipids and sterols. U. S. studies show that as much as 50 percent of the caloric intake in a modern diet is in the forms of fats. Other studies demonstrate that the likelihood of heart attack decreases when the intake of saturated fats is reduced.

When saturated solid fats are added to the diet, the amount of cholesterol in the blood increases, but when liquid, unsaturated fats or oils (particularly the polyunsaturated type) replace solid fat, the amount of cholesterol decrease. High cholesterol levels in the blood appear to promote the deposition of hard, fatty materials in the arteries, causing the arteries eventually to clog. When the coronary artery around the heart becomes clogged in this manner, blood supply to the heart is interrupted and a heart attack occurs. The American Heart Association recommends restricting the total fat in a diet, reducing the intake of cholesterol-rich foods, such as milk and butter, and replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats (Encarta Microsoft Encyclopedia 8pp). Encarta Microsoft Encyclopedia states that: 'The occurrence of the heart attack itself is much more likely in persons who have high blood pressure.

Hypertension or high blood pressure, physiological condition involving increased pressure on the arterial walls by the blood.'; It is similar to the pushing of water against the sides of a garden hose. Decreasing the water in a hose or replacing a small hose with a large one and keeping the amount of water the same reduces the force against the walls, simulating low blood pressure. Conversely, if the amount of water in the hose is increased or a standard hose is replaced by a small one, the pressure against the wall is raised, as in hypertension. When most of the arteries are plugged up with cholesterol, and the muscular walls are compressed in beds of fat, the blood is squeezed into a relatively little space, and the blood pressure naturally becomes high. Hypertension also occurs when larger than normal amounts of water and sodium are held in the body, a situation that invariably occurs during the alarm reaction to stress.

In this case, the quality of blood plasma, or the blood volume, increases. Most persistent high blood pressure result from a combination of these factors (Davis 258-261). An ideal diet must not only lower elevated blood pressure but also gradually rebuild damage in the blood vessels, kidneys, heart, and brain, which usually accompanies hypertension. It is tragic indeed that a vast number of people are content to alleviate the exhaustion of low blood pressure with 'pep pills';, thus allowing the body to continue to generate. Sound nutrition relieves symptoms by improving the health of the body as a whole.

Its reward is a renewed zest for living (Davis 269). The thought of cancer often strikes fear in people. This fear arises in part from personal experiences with cancer and in part from the knowledge that some cancers are incurable. The prognosis for most people today, however, is far brighter than in the past. Some cancers are preventable, and many are curable, especially when they are detected early.

Genetic, environmental, and dietary factors can play roles in cancer development. People who wish to reduce their cancer risks can reduce their exposure to environmental and dietary factors that have been linked to cancer. Among environmental factors, smoking, water and air pollution, and sun exposure are known to cause cancer (Whitney 662).

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