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Diet , by exact definition, means the sum of food consumed by a person. The more scientific term “nutrition” (also called nourishment) is the provision of the foods necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet. A poor diet can have a very negative impact on life, causing deficiency diseases such as scurvy, beriberi and other health-threatening conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Diets vary from person to person and depending on culture. Every person has their own personal food preferences and some foods are considered “taboo” due to ethical reasons or personal tastes. A “proper” diet requires the proper ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In addition to culture, religion and personal choice, diet is also influenced by economics, in that poverty if often associated with the inability to afford proper foods, especially meat.

In today’s culture, more often than not, when one uses the word “diet” they are referring to a particular plan of chosen foods meant to help them lose weight. “Going on a diet” changes the energy balance and can decrease (or increase) the amount of fat stored by the body. Diets are often combined with exercise to increase weight loss. Some weight loss programs can be harmful to health, while others may be beneficial. The terms “healthy diet” and “diet” for weight management are often related, as the two promote healthy weight management. Human nutrition is complex, and therefore a healthy diet for particular individuals vary widely and are subject to an individual’s genetic makeup, how much exercise they get on a daily basis and their overall health. An eating disorder is a mental disorder that interferes with normal food consumption and can negatively affect affect a person’s body image. Many people in developed countries are concerned about obesity, while third world countries have the opposite problem, with many suffering from malnutrition. Dieticians and nutritionists agree that a healthy, well-balanced diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and small amounts of healthy fats.


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