Nutrition is a contribution to and base for development and health. According to The World Health Organization, dealings of malnutrition and infection are thoroughly documented; enhanced nutrition signifies fewer illness and improved health, and stronger immune systems. Healthy children learn better.
Healthy people are more productive, are stronger, and more able to make opportunities to steadily shattered both poverty and hunger’ cycle in a sustainable means. “Better nutrition” is a major ‘entry point’ to finishing poverty and a highlight to acquiring better ‘quality of life’ (WHO 2007).
The human being is born with great potential which may or may not be actualized later in life. Select stimuli may enhance or suppress the development of this potential, thus resulting in either adequate, optimal health in a deteriorated.
According to the World Health Organization, “health is the status of full mental, physical, and social well being and not the mere absence of illness and or infirmity”.
It is therefore, necessary to apply substantial effort to assure the full realization of the potential of all children in order to develop them further using all available means; moreover, positive health is also defined as an above average status regarding the physiological, mental, and social abilities of the humans.
To achieve positive health then it is necessary to define the optimal range for both nutrition and physical activity.
Practical experience and theoretical studies allow for the evaluation of the factors that negatively influence growth and development – malnutrition, lack of social and mental stimulation, and physical overloading. On the other hand, excess food intake and lack of physical and overall activity can also be harmful.
Public awareness of nutrition and nutrition-related health has increased in recent years and has created a climate in which the American public is seeking sound nutritional advice (Dubose et.al 174).
Dubose (1981 added that, while information and advice on this topic are widely available, the media reports are sometimes fragmentary or conflicting; as a result, it is likely that the public will increasingly turn toward family health care providers to interpret the available information and prescribe practical recommendations on nutritional practices for the family.
According to Sahyoun (1999), “a number of conditions experienced by older people contribute both directly and indirectly to nutritional problems; therefore a useful screening tool should take these socioeconomic, physiologic, and psychological factors into account”. Sahyoun (1990, added that, limited income decreases the variety and quantity of food purchased and consumed; other causes of malnutrition affect older people of all economic background.
Social isolation, often exacerbated by deterioration of sight, hearing, and mobility, leaves man elderly living alone and eating alone – this solitude contributes to reduce s food intake and is exacerbated by loneliness and depression, which can also affect appetite and well being.
Accurate information about trends in American dietary patterns is critical to the development of rational policies, programs, and resource allocations designed to improve the nutritional intake and health status of the population (Bronner 2).
According to Bronner (1995), the importance of this information is illustrated, for example by its use to establish dietary recommendations to reduce the intake of fat from one level to one another, to assess progress toward achieving national nutrition objectives, and to identify challenges in proportion of the population requiring food assistance.
He added that, although assessing changes in the dietary intake of individuals or population groups might appear to be a simple task, it is in fact exceedingly difficult to accomplish with any acceptable degree of scientific rigor.
The determination of usual dietary intake at any one point in time represents formidable difficulties that are further complicated when it is necessary to determine time trends. Indeed the assessment of dietary changes over time constitutes one of the most intellectually challenging problems in the field of nutrition, and is currently the focus of intense professional interest (Bronner, 3).
Current dietary practices reflect thousands of years of an almost Darwinian process of natural selection: the foods that have survived and are still consumed by modern cultures are those that have been grown successfully and enjoyed throughout history, and existing dietary patterns are those that have evolved over the ages in response to food availability, biologic need, and taste preferences (qtd. in Bronner 3).
According to Bronner (1995), interactions between eating behavior and food availability, as modified by cultural, social, economic, and agricultural practices and trends, at least in part explain the wide variation in the ways the world’s many populations successfully achieve nutritional needs.