Diet, Nutrition and Chronic Diseases: What You Eat is What You Get

Adelekan, Delana A. (2007-03-13)

Lecture

It is generally believed that man has 3 basic needs.viz: food, shelter and, clothing. The most important of these is unarguably food as humans can J I) survive for only a few weeks without food whereas there are millions of .people in the world without clothing and shelter who nonetheless survive into old age. Health is influenced by a variety of factors - environmental, . social and mental. One key environmental factor which is important in the . promotion and maintenance of good health throughout the entire life course is diet. Diet plays a key role in the prevention of chronic diseases. It is a matter for regret however that despite the importance of diet in the promotion and maintenance of health most individuals in both developed and developing countries pay very little attention to their diet with very . serious consequences for their health. There is increasing scientific evidence supporting the view that alterations in diet have strong effects, both positive and negative, on health throughout life. Most importantly, nutritional insults inflicted on an individual early in life have been shown to determine whether or not an individual will develop such chronic diseases as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes much later in life (Barker's Hypothesis- Fetal origin of adult diseases )(Barker, 1995). The risk factors for chronic diseases begin to accumulate right from foetal life and become pronounced in adulthood.

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