Nutrition- Chapter 1

The science of foods and the nutrients and other substances they contain, and of their actions within the body  (including ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, metabolism, and excretion). A broader definition includes the social, economic, cultural, and psychological implications of food and eating.
Products derived from plants or animals that can be taken into the body to yield energy and nutrients for the maintenance of life and the growth and repair of tissues.
The foods and beverages a person eats and drinks.
Functional foods
Foods that contain physiologically active compounds that provide health benefits beyond their nutrient contributions; sometimes called designer foods, or nutraceuticals.

Nonnutrient compounds found in plant-derived foods that have biological activity in the body.


  • phyto= plant


Not containing carbon or pertaining to living things.


  • in= not

In chemistry, a substance or molecule containing carbon-carbon bonds or carbon-hydrogen bonds. This definition excludes coal, diamonds, and a few carbon-containing compounds that contain only a single carbon, and no hydrogen, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), calcium carbonate (CaCO3), magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), and sodium cyanide (NaCN).
Essential nutrients
Nutrients a person must obtain from food because the body cannot make them for itself in sufficient quantity to meet physiological needs; also called indispensible nutrients. About 40 nutrients are currently known to be essential for human beings.
Energy-yielding nutrients

The nutrients that break down to yield energy the body can use:

  • carbohydrate
  • fat
  • protein

Units by which energy is measured. Food energy is measured in kilocalories (1000 calories equal 1 kilocalorie), abbreviated kcalories or kcal. One kcalorie is the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram (kg) of water 1°C. The scientific use of the term kcalorie is the same as the popular use of the term calorie.
The capacity to do work. The energy in food is chemical energy. The body can convert this chemical energy to mechanical, electrical, or heat energy.
Chemical substances obtained from food and used in the body to provide energy, structural materials, and regulating agents to support growth, maintenance, and repair of the body’s tissues. Nutrients may also reduce the risks of some diseases.
Energy density
A measure of the energy a food provides relative to the amount of food (kcalories/gram).
Organic, essential nutrients required in small amounts by the body for health.
Inorganic elements. Some minerals are essential nutrients required in small amounts by the body for health.
The full complement of genetic material (DNA) in the chromosomes of a cell. In human beings, the genome consists of 46 chromosomes. The study of genomes is called genomics.
Nutritional genomics
The science of how nutrients affect the activities of genes (nutrigenomics) and how genes affect the interactions between diet and disease (nutrigenetics).
Blind experiment
An experiment in which the subjects do not know whether they are members of the experimental group or the control group.
Control group
A group of individuals similar in all possible respects to the experimental group except for the treatment. Ideally, the control group receives a placebo while the expeerimental group receives the real treatment.

The simultaneous increase, decrease, or change in two variables.


  • A ; + B;= positive correlation
  • A; + B;= positive correllation
  • A; + B;= negative correlation
  • A; + B;= negative correlation

Negative correlation does not mean that A prevents B or vice versa, some third factor may account for both A and B.

Double-blind experiment
An experiment in which neither the subjects nor researchers know which subjects are members of the experimental group and which members are serving as control subjects, until the experiment is over.
Experimental group
A group of individuals similar in all possible respects to the control group except for the treatment. The experimental group receives the real treatment.
An unproven statement that tentatively explains the relationship between two or more variables.
Peer review
A process in which a panel of scientists rigorously evaluates a research study to assure that the scientific method was followed.
An inert, harmless medication given to provide comfort and hope; a sham treatment usen in controlled research studies.
Placebo effect
A change that occurs in response to expectations in the effectiveness of a treatment that actually has no pharmaceutical effects.
A process of choosing members of the experimental and control groups without bias.
Repeating and experiment and getting the same results. The skeptical scientist, on hearing of a new, exciting finding, will ask, “Has it been replicated yet?” If it hasn’t, the scientist will withhold judgment regarding the finding’s validity.
The people or animals participating in a research project.
A tentative explanation that integrates many and diverse findings to further the understanding of a defined topic.
Having the quality of being founded on fact or evidence.
Factors that change. A variable may depend on another variable, or it may be independant. Sometimes both variables correlate with a third variable.
Dietary reference intakes

A set of nutrient intake values for healthy people in the United States and Canada. These values are used for planning and assessing diets and include:


  • Estimated average requirements (EAR)
  • Recommended dietary allowances (RDA)
  • Adequate intakes (AI)
  • Tolerable upper intake levels (UL)

The lowest continuing intake of a nutrient that will maintain a specified criterion of adequacy.
Estimated average requirement (EAR)
The average daily amount of a nutrient that will maintain a specific biochemical or physiological function in half the healthy people of a given age and gender group.
Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)
The average daily amount of a nutrient considered adequate to meet the known nutrient needs of practically healthy people; a goal for dietary intake by individuals.
The amount of a nutrient below which almost all healthy people can be expected, over time, to experience deficiency.
Adequate intake
The average daily amount of a nutrient that appears sufficient to maintain a specified criterion; a value used as a guide for nutrient intake when an RDA cannot be determined.
Tolerable upper intake level (UL)
The maximum daily amount of a nutrient that appears safe for most healthy people and beyond which there is an increased risk of adverse health effects.
Estimated energy requirement (EER)
The average dietary energy intake that maintains energy balance and good health in a person of a given age, gender, weight, height, and level of physical activity.
Acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDR)
Ranges of intakes for the energy nutrients that provide adequate energy and nutrients and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Any condition caused by excess or deficient food energy or nutrient food energy or nutrient intake or by an imbalance of nutrients.


  • mal= bad

Deficient energy or nutrients.
Nutrition assessment
A comprehensive analysis of a person’s nutrition status that uses health, socioeconomic, drug, and diet histories; anthropometric measurements; physical examinations; and laboratory tests.

Relating to measurement of the physical characteristics of the body, such as height and weight.


  • anthropos= human
  • metric= measuring


Out in the open and easy to observe.


  • ouvrir= to open

Primary deficiency
A nutrient deficiency caused by inadequate dietary intake of a nutrient.
Secondary deficiency
A nutrient deficiency caused by something other than an inadequate intake such as a disease condition or drug interaction that reduces absorption, accelerates use, hastens excretion, or destroys the nutrient.
Subclinical deficiency
A deficiency in the early stages, before the outward signs have appeared.

Hidden, as if under covers.


  • couvrir= to cover

Healthy people
A national public health initiative under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that identifies the most significant preventable threats to health and focuses efforts toward eliminating them.
Chronic disease
Diseases chracterized by a slow progression and long duration. Examples include heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Risk factor
A condition or behavior associated with an elevated frequency of a disease but not proved to be causal. Leading risk factors for chronic disease include obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, and a diet high in saturated fats and low in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
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