Health and Social Care Essay Example
Health and Social Care Essay Example

Health and Social Care Essay Example

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  • Pages: 17 (4457 words)
  • Published: October 23, 2016
  • Type: Case Study
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The booklet titled 'Nutrition and its impact on health' covers criteria P1, P3, M2, and D1. It provides information about nutrients and their impact on the body, including topics like malnutrition and deficiency.

This text will cover the guidelines for nutritional health, such as dietary reference values (DRV) and the concept of a balanced diet. It will also touch on calculating and understanding BMI, as well as using the eat well plate. Furthermore, it will examine potential factors that can impact dietary intake and evaluate their effect on an individual's nutritional health. Finally, it will provide practical recommendations to minimize these influences in a particular health and social care setting.

Section One: Nutritional Health

Nutrition is the study of food and its nutrients, as well as how the body utilizes these nutrients.

n: justify;">The process of nutrition encompasses various steps including intake, breakdown, absorption, conversion, movement, storage, and elimination of nutrients. It also incorporates factors related to food and eating such as environmental factors, psychological factors, and behavioral factors. There are six categories of nutrients which include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. Having a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise are essential for adequate nutrition. Insufficient nutrition can weaken the immune system, increase susceptibility to illnesses and result in health issues like obesity or hindered physical and mental development.

Malnutrition occurs when the body does not receive sufficient nutrients from the diet, leading to impaired growth, physical health issues, mood and behavioral changes, and disruptions in bodily functions. It is possible for individuals to be malnourished even if they consume a diet that is hig

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in calories but lacks essential vitamins and minerals. As a result, people can be overweight or obese while still suffering from malnutrition.

A study conducted in 2009 discovered that malnutrition is a widespread health problem in the UK, with 2 million people suffering from malnutrition and an additional 3 million at risk. Approximately 25% of hospital admissions in the UK involve malnourished individuals. In contrast, obesity is characterized by excess body weight and high levels of body fat. The most commonly employed approach to determining weight is through calculating one's body mass index (BMI), which involves dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.

Being overweight increases the risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer (such as breast cancer, colon cancer), and strokes. Obesity is caused by consuming more calories than one burns. In many cases, obesity is a result of overeating and insufficient physical activity. Another contributing factor to obesity is age, as the body's ability to metabolize food slows down with age, resulting in a reduced need for calories to maintain a healthy weight.

The higher resting metabolic rate in men leads to a greater energy burn even when at rest, making them require more calories to maintain body weight. Consequently, women tend to be more overweight than men due to gender differences in metabolism. Additionally, lifestyle behaviors like diet and activity level contribute significantly to weight gain. Furthermore, access to resources also affects weight as living in the countryside without a car may limit access compared to residing in a town center. Moreover, physical

activity plays a role as individuals who are active need more calories to maintain a healthy weight compared to those who are less active.

Physical activity helps reduce appetite in obese people, but psychological factors also play a role in eating habits and obesity. Emotional states like boredom, sadness, or anger often trigger overeating. People who have difficulty managing their weight often face emotional and psychological barriers, with about 30% of those seeking help for severe weight issues struggling with excessive eating. These individuals consume large amounts of food and feel a lack of control over their eating behavior during episodes of binge-eating.

Both illness and medication can lead to obesity. Illnesses such as hypothyroidism and brain disorders can cause overeating and weight gain, while medications like steroids and antidepressants may contribute to excessive weight gain. Furthermore, deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and haemoglobin can result in conditions like scurvy, night blindness, and anaemia.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder and mental health condition characterized by individuals attempting to maintain a low weight through restricted food intake. They often have a distorted perception of their body, believing they are overweight. Some engage in excessive exercise or binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting to eliminate the consumed food. Those with anorexia typically conceal their behavior from loved ones by lying about their food consumption.

Both anorexia and bulimia are distinct eating disorders with their own characteristics and symptoms, but they also have interconnectedness. Anorexia is associated with bulimia, wherein individuals use vomiting as a means to eliminate food. Bulimia nervosa involves binge eating followed by

efforts to get rid of the food through methods such as vomiting or excessive exercise. Individuals with bulimia often exhibit a strong emphasis on weight and body image and may experience depression and other psychiatric conditions. Unlike those with anorexia, many people with bulimia can maintain a normal weight, enabling them to conceal their condition for an extended period of time.

If left untreated, bulimia can result in deficiencies in nutrition and potentially even fatal complications.

Dietry Reference Values

The government and the department of health have established guidelines for daily food consumption. These guidelines cover calorie intake, fat, saturates, salt, and sugar. The recommended calorie intake varies depending on age and gender. Men generally need more calories than women, while children require fewer calories compared to adults.

During pregnancy, it is important for women to consume additional calories to provide nutrients for both themselves and their baby. It is crucial that they receive the proper amount of calories and nutrients. The recommended daily calorie intake varies depending on the individual. According to the UK Department of Health, women should aim for 2000 calories per day, while men should aim for 2500 calories. Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) serve as references for nutrient intakes, particularly vitamins and minerals. To maintain a healthy diet, protein should constitute 0 - 20% of total daily calories, saturated fat should be less than 10%, polyunsaturated fat should also be less than 10%, and monounsaturated fat and carbohydrates combined should account for 60 - 70%. These guidelines are based on the RDA Recommended Daily Allowance. (Source: Food Standards Agency Nutrient and Food Based Guidelines for UK

October 2007.)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a method used to assess weight appropriateness based on height. The recommended BMI range for adults is 18.5 to 24.9, with a BMI of 25 or higher indicating overweight status. Overweight corresponds to a BMI of 25-29.9, while obesity falls within the range of 30-39, and anything above 40 is considered very obese. A BMI below 18.5 suggests being underweight for one's height. It's worth noting that healthcare professionals consider additional factors when determining if someone has a healthy weight.

It's important to keep in mind that muscle mass weighs more than fat, which means individuals with high muscle mass such as heavyweight boxers, weight trainers, and athletes may be deemed healthy despite having an obese BMI reading. To calculate your own BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. This calculation applies equally when assessing the BMI of children.

It is crucial to understand that using adult BMI figures as a indicator for childhood obesity or overweight is not appropriate. To obtain accurate results, it is essential to consult age-adjusted charts.

The Eat Well Plate

The eat well plate promotes consuming a diverse range of foods from various groups daily to achieve optimal nutrition and provide the body with essential nutrients for health and proper functioning. The fifth group, consisting of foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar, is not necessary for a healthy diet. The portion sizes of each food group on the plate adhere to Government guidelines that aim to meet nutrient requirements for both adults and children.

The main goal of the

eat well plate is to demonstrate the overall equilibrium of a nutritious diet, rather than fixating on separate meals or particular time frames. It highlights the significance of including a diverse range of foods from the five food groups in order to attain all necessary nutrients for optimal health and energy. The Fruit and Vegetables group includes fresh, frozen, canned, and dried selections, along with fruit juice. These alternatives are low in fat and calories and can be used as substitutes for unhealthy treats like cakes and biscuits.

It is highly recommended to consume a minimum of 5 portions of fruits and vegetables daily as they offer various vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This food group should account for 33% of our overall food consumption. Starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice, cereals, and potatoes should form the main component in most meals, making up approximately one third of our food intake. These foods provide essential energy along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If no sugar or fat is added, these foods are generally low in calories. They should contribute to 3% of our total food consumption.

The meat and fish category consists of meat, poultry, fish eggs nuts, and pulses (such as beans chickpeas lentils). These foods are rich in protein along with vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc. Iron from meat sources is more easily absorbed by the body compared to iron from plant sources. The protein found in meat aids in the absorption of iron from vegetables and cereals. Pulses also add to the fiber intake. Opting for lean cuts of meat using low-fat cooking techniques can help decrease total fat intake

from this category. This group should make up 2%of our total food consumption.

It is advised to consume items from the milk dairy foods group three times a day as they are beneficial for providing valuable nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also serve as the main source of calcium in our diet. However, adults should opt for low-fat options such as semi-skimmed or skimmed milk while still getting the same amount of calcium, protein, and B vitamins. On the other hand, children can drink whole milk to meet their energy requirements and obtain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. It is recommended that approximately 15% of our total food intake should come from this specific food group.

Even though fatty and sugary foods provide energy, they lack nutritional value and are not necessary for a healthy diet. Although they can add diversity to meals, many individuals consume an excessive amount of these foods. It is advisable to limit our intake from this food group to only 7% of our total food consumption.

Food Labelling

Food labels are informative panels on food packaging that provide details about the nutritional composition of the food. Typically located on the back or side of the packaging, these labels typically disclose information such as calorie count, protein content, carbohydrate content, and fat content.

The information on food labels includes saturated fat, sugars, sodium, salt, and fiber. Recently, more supermarkets and food manufacturers have started including prominent labels on packaging that provide details about calories, fat, saturated fat, sugars, and salt. The main goal is to make these details easily visible. By looking at

food labels, individuals can see how a specific food or drink item fits into their daily diet. When shopping, people can use food labels to choose a more balanced diet by keeping track of calorie intake.

Food Labelling Regulations

The basic information that must be displayed on labels of most pre-packed foods in accordance with the law includes:

The name of the food should accurately reflect its true nature and provide information to the buyer. To clarify the name, a qualifying statement such as "Vegetable Samosa - a spicy vegetable filled pastry parcel" may be necessary. The list of ingredients must be provided under the header "Ingredients," in descending order by weight. Specific categories of ingredients, like additives, should be identified by their category name (e.g., "Preservative"), followed by their specific chemical name or serial number (e.g., "sodium nitrate" or "E250"). Nutritional claims can only be made if the food meets compositional standards. The nutritional information must follow a specified format, and allergy advice should also be included on the label. There are two types of date marking for perishable foods that require refrigeration for safety (e.g., meat, fish, dairy products, ready-to-eat salads): "Use by" followed by Day and Month or Day, Month Year.

The best before date is a way to determine how long food will remain fresh and at its highest quality. It is especially important for items like biscuits, crisps, or soft drinks that can become stale or develop unpleasant flavors over time. Proper storage conditions, including any temperature requirements, should be clearly stated. Additionally, it is crucial to indicate the place of origin to avoid misleading

customers; for example, specifying "English Brie Cheese".

The items listed below are not mandatory, but they are considered good practice and are often included on packaging:

  • illustration of product
  • price
  • customer guarantee
  • the batch-code and bar-code numbers opening instructions

Section Two: Influences on Diet:

This paragraph explains the possible factors that can impact a person's dietary intake.


Coeliac disease, which falls under the category of autoimmune disorders, is a prevalent digestive condition that involves an adverse reaction to gluten. Consuming foods with gluten can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating and flatulence, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue caused by malnutrition, and impaired growth in children. The severity of these symptoms can vary.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the intestines and impairs nutrient absorption. The immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, believing gluten substances are harmful. Although there is no cure, symptoms can be managed and complications prevented by following a gluten-free diet.

In the UK, Coeliac disease is a common condition that affects around 1 out of every 100 individuals. It is more prevalent in women than men, with two to three times more cases. The disease can manifest at any age, but symptoms are most likely to occur during early childhood (between 8-12 months old) or later adulthood (between 40 and 60 years old). It often takes several years to accurately diagnose the condition. Coeliac disease significantly impacts dietary choices as those affected cannot consume gluten, a protein found in

many foods.

  • wheat
  • barley
  • rye pasta
  • cakes
  • breakfast cereals
  • most types of bread c
  • certain types of sauces
  • some types of ready meals

Purchasing gluten-free items will greatly affect your lifestyle, but you can find suitable options at major grocery store chains. However, if you dislike these products, you need to consider other supplements for adequate protein intake.

Crohns Disease

Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, is a chronic disorder that affects the gastro-intestinal tract.

Crohn's disease, named after Dr Burrill B Crohn who documented cases in the 1930s, is a condition that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. It is considered a "multi-system" or generalized disease as it can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body such as the skin, joints, eyes, and liver. Common symptoms include diarrhea with potential presence of blood, mucus, or pus if the colon is affected. The primary location for abdominal pain is in the lower right corner.

Crohn's disease varies in terms of pain severity, ranging from mild discomfort to requiring emergency surgery. Even with a balanced diet, patients may experience unintended weight loss. Indicative of Crohn's disease, anal issues like infection, abscess formation, and deep fissures or cracks around the anus could serve as initial symptoms. Inflammation caused by Crohn's can lead to bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and subsequently anemia.

Moreover, extensive disease might impede the absorption of essential vitamins like B12 and fat. Fatigue and a general sense of feeling unwell are prevalent among individuals affected by Crohn's disease.

People with Crohn's disease do not have specific dietary guidelines. However, it is important to focus on overall nutrition and consume easily digestible nutrients, particularly after intestinal surgery. Diarrhea symptoms can be reduced by following a low-fat diet. Additionally, individuals should take supplements to address any vitamin deficiencies they may have, including iron, B12, and folate.

Dietary/Eating Habits

Eating habits involve different elements, including the motivations and techniques behind people's food selections, who they eat with, and how they store and get rid of food. Numerous factors like personal characteristics, social interactions, cultural traditions, religious convictions, financial situations, environmental conditions, and political influences all contribute to individuals' eating behaviors.

The typical eating routine for many individuals is comprised of three meals per day, namely breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks are commonly consumed in between these meals. The government emphasizes the importance of breakfast as the most crucial meal of the day; nevertheless, some people may choose to skip it due to time constraints, particularly those with early work schedules. This dietary habit reflects their lifestyle choices. It is important to recognize that individuals within a social group often rely on each other and can influence one another's behaviors and beliefs.

Certain peer, work, or community groups can influence individuals' eating behaviors. For example, when a young person attends a basketball game with their team friends, they may eat certain foods, but different ones when accompanied by their family. Religion also

plays a role in influencing eating habits. Certain religions have food prohibitions; for instance, pork is prohibited in the Jewish and Muslim religions. Additionally, some religions observe lent where individuals abstain from certain foods as part of their dietary habit.

The media significantly influences people's eating habits and diets, often showcasing popular celebrity diets and exercise trends that can impact individuals of different ages, especially young teenage girls. These girls may feel compelled to try these diets due to their distorted self-image and societal pressure to be thin, even though it can negatively affect their health as they are still growing. Recognizing the potential risks of these diets is crucial because they can lead to eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia in young girls.

Both eating habits and anorexia fall under the category of dietary habits. Poor eating habits often involve issues with controlling portion sizes, which can be addressed by planning ahead and determining the appropriate amount of food to consume. It is advisable to avoid directly consuming food from its packaging as this can lead to overeating. For instance, having a box of cookies within easy reach may result in unintentionally consuming more than intended. To combat this, it is recommended to decide in advance how many cookies should be eaten and then put the box away before sitting down. Another common habit among individuals involves using food as a way to deal with stress.

After a challenging day at the office, it may be enticing to decompress with pizza and beer, but using food as a means of stress relief frequently leads to weight gain. Rather, it is advisable

to discover alternative methods of relaxation that do not involve food. Additionally, it is vital not to skip meals as medical professionals and nutritionists strongly discourage this practice. Skipping meals can lead to heightened levels of hunger and potential decreases in blood sugar levels. Late-night eating is another prevalent unhealthy behavior that typically entails excessive snacking and calorie intake.


The affordability of food has a significant impact on an individual's food choice, especially for those with low incomes. Budget limitations often lead to unbalanced diets that lack fruits and vegetables. In today's society, unhealthy foods that are high in fat and sugar are more affordable than healthier options. Consequently, individuals with limited income tend to opt for cheaper alternatives. However, simply increasing the amount of money spent on food does not guarantee a well-balanced and nutritious diet.

Concerns about potential waste if the family does not like new foods may cause individuals to hesitate in making purchases. The decision on which food to buy is influenced by the accessibility and availability of food within shops, which is connected to transportation and location. For example, areas with limited or no shopping facilities, known as 'food deserts,' often face resistance. However, merely improving access does not guarantee a change in individuals' food choices. In situations where one lives in a 'food desert' without transportation, reaching a supermarket can be challenging; therefore, individuals may resort to growing their own fruits and vegetables in their gardens.

Having knowledge about healthy eating and access to information can impact individuals' decision to select a nutritious diet. However, it is crucial that they can utilize this

knowledge while grocery shopping and cooking meals. Learning how to incorporate cost-effective ways of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is advantageous as it influences food preferences. Conversely, a lack of knowledge and insufficient cooking skills may influence one's inclination to purchase basic ingredients or choose pre-made meals. For specific groups like young people or individuals living alone, time limitations present a major barrier in adopting healthier options.

The demand for convenient food options has led to the popularity of ready-to-cook meals and packaged fruits and vegetables (as opposed to loose ones), despite their higher cost. Customers are willing to pay more for these choices because they provide convenience and eliminate the need for preparation time.

Socioeconomic / Economic Factors

Socioeconomic inequalities have an influence on both one's lifestyle and food choices, ultimately impacting overall well-being. Insufficient housing, unfavorable living conditions, suboptimal nutrition, and limited medical access all contribute to declining health.

Healthy Eating Education

In this section, the connection between education and health is examined, with a focus on government initiatives that aim to encourage healthy eating habits in schools. The government's social policy targets increasing obesity rates and highlights the importance of healthy eating through programs such as "Change for Life" and the "Every Child Matters" policy.

The Health Education Trust (HET) is a UK registered charity that aims to promote health education for young people. Led by independent professionals, HET's main focus is on inspiring and supporting young individuals in adopting healthy lifestyles. The goal is to offer practical, precise, and realistic advice on current food, health, and education issues, as well as common-sense approaches

to government policies. This empowers consumers to easily access straightforward solutions for maintaining a healthy diet.

Jamie Oliver is famous for his various school-based healthy eating initiatives, particularly the well-known campaign for healthier school dinners. It is important to acknowledge that a child's daily nutritional intake heavily relies on their school meal, which contributes to approximately one-third of it. Unfortunately, numerous children in the country depend on ready meals or takeaways, and some even go without food at home. Consequently, the meal they receive at school becomes their sole source of nutritious food throughout the day. Hence, it is vital to promote healthier food choices among children during their time at school. Jamie consistently emphasizes that improved nutrition leads to better overall performance in children.

Recent research has proven that a hot, nutritious lunchtime meal improves the behavior and concentration of children in the afternoon, regardless of their background. This reinforces the importance of school meals for the future of UK's children.

Childrens Food Trust

Established in 2005 and achieving charity status in 2006, The Trust (formerly known as the School Food Trust) is dedicated to promoting the consumption of nutritious food among children for their holistic development.

The Trust's aim is to safeguard every child's right to consume nutritious food and improve their overall well-being. We accomplish this by advocating for a well-balanced diet, enhancing family cooking abilities, and educating on lifestyle and food choices. Our organization offers tailored advice, training, and assistance to those involved in feeding children.

This includes:

  • improving lunchtimes in early years settings and schools – the food, the

kitchens, the dining rooms and the training

  • helping schools, communities, charities and businesses with practical, healthy cooking skills which improve diet
  • advising on how to improve menus for children building the evidence base about children’s food and nutrition through our internationally-recognised research team
  • providing independent, expert advice to local and national government and other organisations working on children’s food issues.
  • Our board members have diverse backgrounds, encompassing food suppliers, school caterers, medical professionals, and public health specialists. Additionally, the board consists of experts in cooking, marketing, and management. Moreover, our team is composed of individuals with expertise in catering and teaching as well as child nutrition, research, school food finance, and design.

    Change 4 Life

    Change4Life is a nationwide movement that aims to assist everyone, especially children, in improving their eating habits and increasing physical activity. The goal is to extend lifespans and reduce the risk of developing dangerous levels of body fat. It's troubling to discover that if current trends continue, 9 out of 10 children are at risk for serious illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes later in life.

    However, Change4Life is committed to providing support and emphasizes that making these changes doesn't have to be complicated. With some assistance, it can actually be highly rewarding and enjoyable!

    Change4Life is a program that aims to support families and middle-aged individuals in making small, sustainable changes to their diet, activity levels, and alcohol consumption. The program promotes the slogan "eat well, move more, live longer". It encourages the

    adoption of six healthy habits:

    • 5 A DAY – suggestions for consuming the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily
    • Watch the salt – advice on reducing daily salt intake, ideally keeping it below 6g for adults
    • Cut back fat – information on primarily saturated fats in foods and ways to reduce them
    • Sugar swaps – information on sugar content in foods and healthier alternatives
    • Choose less booze – strategies for adults to reduce alcohol consumption according to government guidelines
    • Get going every day – emphasizing importance of leading an active lifestyle with easy and affordable options for both adults and children.

    Every Child Matters

    Introduced in 2003 by the UK government, Every Child Matters (ECM) is an initiative for England and Wales that is widely regarded as one of the most important policy initiatives and development programs for children and their services in the last decade.

    The 5 outcomes encompass being healthy, staying safe, and avoiding illegal drugs. This includes physical, mental, emotional, and sexual well-being along with adopting healthy lifestyles. Furthermore, it involves protecting individuals from maltreatment, neglect, violence, sexual exploitation, and accidental incidents.

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