Underlying health conditions resulting in a specific nutrient need

Coeliac disease:

This disease means that a person will have intolerance to the protein gluten which is mainly found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten produces antibodies which attack the lining of the bowel which can later cause anaemia and osteoporosis. Symptoms of the disease include abdominal pains, bloating, diarrhoea and anaemia. If you do suffer from coeliac disease people need to try and eliminate rye, wheat and barley from their diet, if you have been diagnosed with this disease they may give you prescription for gluten free products.

Lactose Intolerant:

If a person has a lactose intolerance it means that they cannot produce the enzyme lactase which breaks down lactose into glucose. Lactose is the natural sugar that is found in milk and is a very common intolerance. People who have this in a severe ay will find it hard to put on weight and also duffer from diarrhoea. Lactose is present in quite a variety of foods meaning it is quite are to find products which don’t contain lactose as lactose is present is in chocolate, mayonnaise, cheese and cakes. If you are lactose intolerant you need to make sure that you still get enough calcium otherwise it could cause you to contract rickets.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

IBS is a condition where the function of the bowel is easily disturbed which can cause abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. There is no specific cause of IBS but it is said that people are seen to have an over active nerves in the gut and some people it can just be down to some of the foods they eat. There are a lot of different bits of advice that is given to sufferers of IBS but the best thing you can do is to try and experiment with your diet to see if any particular foods make it better or worse.

Loss of ability to feed independently:

From Paralysis

Some people unfortunately are unable to feed themselves either from an accident which leads to paralysis or they haven’t been able to all their lives or a development of debilitating condition. If any quantity of independence can be preserved, then it should. There are many gadgets that are available to people who are unable to feed themselves to help them feed themselves such as wide handed cutlery, non-slip mats and plate guards all help people try to feed them easier.

If people are unable to feed themselves for whatever reason they should have their food fed to them hot and shouldn’t feel as if they are a nuisance. When feeding others make sure that their clothing is protected and be sure to frequently ask if they need to have a drink. Some may need to be fed via a tube for many reason but the tube will normally pass up the nose and down the throat but if it is a permanent problem a gastrostomy can be done and it is hole through the abdomen straight into the stomach.

Dietary Habits



Snacking refers to eating between meals which was once discouraged but it is now natural behaviour. If the snacks you consume are health such as fruit and if you don’t snack above your daily calorie intake then there is nothing wrong with snacking. On the other hand there are a lot of people who snack unhealthy things like salty and sugary snacks which will be high in fat this is when snacking becomes a problem. Occasional unhealthy snack aren’t too bad but it’s when you consume unhealthy snacks quite often on a daily basis this increase the chance of obesity which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Personal Tastes:

Everybody has foods they like and foods they dislike this is what makes a persons personal taste different from everyone else. There are some people who find it morally wrong to eat animals and therefore become vegetarians and some people extend this further in which they will not eat any animal products at all which makes them vegans. Religion can also determine your personal tastes as Muslims are not allowed to eat pork as the animal is sacred in their religion. When you are providing food and drink to other people you need to take into account their personal taste to ensure that you provide a nutritionally balanced meal but also to their require tastes.



Eating At Home:

If you are eating at home it means you can have total control of what you are eating providing if its their. Cooking raw ingredients can open your eyes to exactly what goes into recipes and you are likelier to eat healthier if you prepare it yourself. However ready meals have sold in their billions as Britons eat around one ready meal a week, that’s each person. In 2008 a Tesco’s survey showed that more people in Britain were cooking meals that originated from another country such as spaghetti bolognaise rather than traditional English meals like Lancashire hotpot.

Exercise/Activity Levels:

Everyone has different dietary needs from everyone else for example those who participate in strenuous activity will have a different dietary intake than someone who doesn’t. Most sports people’s nutrient intake will be: 60-70% of calories in their diet will be carbohydrates, 12% from protein and the rest from fat.

Carbohydrates are very important to athletes as it provides them with fuel. It is stored as glycogen in the liver and in their muscles and it is released when needed during exercise. The other source of energy is fat but it cannot be converted into energy as quickly. Athletes also need to consume a lot of fluid. Most athletes will drink water which is adequate but for intense activity isotonic and hypotonic drinks are much more useful to speed up the process of transporting water to the bloodstream.

Leisure Pursuits:

The way people spend their leisure can be a massive influence on what they eat as sports people will have a high carbohydrate diet and if you are quite social you will heat out a lot as you’re on the go. Also when you’re on holiday everyone tends to eat differently as they are away. Mainly when people are on holiday they tend to eat unhealthily and they justify it because they are on holiday.



Cost Of Food:

Nowadays most things you see is to eat healthy and have a balanced diet but generally trying to eat healthier cost more which for some people just isn’t acceptable as some people do have to live on budgets and can’t always afford the fresh foods. Supermarkets nowadays are criticised for focusing on salty, sugary and high- fat foods when running promotions instead of focusing on the fresh fruit and veg.

On the other hand not all healthy foods are overly expensive so if you advise people to eat healthy you can say that not all healthy foods are expensive, for example chicken and pork tend to be cheaper than beef or lamb an are generally healthier because they are lower in fat.

Large supermarkets now have their own label products which are similar nutritionally to the branded ones.

Food supply

Seasonal Variation:

Once fruit and vegetables were only sold as they came into season but now as we are a global market it means we can now eat most fruits all year round which are usually why some are so expensive. This is a good thing as we can now eat all different foods all year round. The thing is that we expect to be able to buy all types of food all year round which does have a dramatic effect on some of our food supplies such as fish.


One of the largest influences of the food we consume is our family. The eating habits we have are first developed from our parents as they give us guidelines on what we should and shouldn’t eat.

Depending on the religion you follow, depends on the food you eat such as Muslims aren’t allowed to eat pork. As a child you may not be religious so the food you consume will be down to either being taught by your parents.

Some mealtimes are more important in some cultures than in others. In some households mealtime at the table is seen as a social event where the family will get together and discuss how’s there days been.



Public Health

Every borough council have and environmental health department which have to monitor anyone who is preparing food for public consumption to ensure that the food is fit to eat and prepared hygienically. Any food that is found to be unfit is destroyed, if unsafe food hygiene practice is shown then improvement notices are issued and organisations can be temporarily or permanently closed to ensure that the public’s health is not at risk.

Food Hygiene:

Food hygiene is critical for the provision of food that will benefit health. It really doesn’t matter how high quality or fresh the food is, if good hygiene is not put in place it can make people ill and could even kill them. It is vital that everyone has good food hygiene and it involves frequent hand washing, correct food storage and through cooking.

Roles of Health Professionals


These people will work with patients that that need special diets, dieticians will try and help and individual to eat the things within their medical condition while trying to maintain a healthy balanced diet.


Some people will go to their general practitioner (GP) to discuss their diet. People may have come to discuss minor dietary things but as they will only see a doctor the GP will take the opportunity to check their weight or blood pressure, order blood test for diabetes or for cholesterol levels. The GP will give advice to them about trying to avoid high-salt foods and if necessary they will be referred to a dietician.


Carers need to understand healthy eating and special dietary requirements as they work with service users who depend on them to provide them with nutritionally balanced meals. It is known that people who are in care homes do not have a very good knowledge of nutritional foods which is worrying as the elderly especially rely on the nutrients for everyday life.

Health and Fitness Instructors:

The staffs that work in gyms and leisure centres which include personal trainers who work with people who are trying to improve their fitness level but are not athletes. It is vital that the instructors have a good understanding of diet and healthy eating as they are working with people who would like to maintain their healthy lifestyle.

Social Policy

Legislation, Regulations and Policies

Every child matters was government Green Paper published in 2003 due to the death of Victoria Climbi� it is aiming to improve the well-being of every child. One of the main outcomes which were intended was ‘being healthy’ and also the quality of food that children eat. There is a government publication which is Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives it states ‘Our ambition is to be the first major nation to reverse the risen tide of obesity and being overweight. Our initial focus will be on children: by2020, we aim to reduce the proportion of overweight and obese children to 2000 levels’

There is now a Nutritional Standards for school lunches and the main requirements are:

* High-quality meat, poultry or oily fish are regularly available

* At least two portions of fruit and vegetables with every meal.

The children’s act 2004 realised that poor health is a significant barrier to educational achievement; therefore school meals need to be nutritionally balanced. An ideal lunch would not contain artificially flavoured or coloured food as this has been related to hyper activities amongst children. A good diet insures stable growth and development protecting against infection, insures that a child’s diet starts off well encouraging them to eat healthy as an adult. This ensures that children and young people’s diets will be influenced by what is on offer at school.