Describe how the components of a balanced diet contribute to an individual's health at different life-stages.

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marilynn07 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As people age their nutrition requirements change. Young people who are growing muscle and bone need higher concentrations of milk and protein. As people begin to enter their adult living, their calorie requirements will be reflective of their activity lifestyle. A middle aged carpenter may require 3000 calories per day to maintain his weight and stamina without being fat, while an office worker will be seriously overweight by consuming that large amount of calories. A pregnant woman may need a minimum of 2500 calories per day as she needs extra nutrition to feed the growing fetus. As people age, their calorie requirements decrease as their active lifestyle slows down.

Pregnant women need a boost of vitamins and minerals as well. The fetus will rob the bones of the pregnant woman of calcium. A deficiency of folic acid in a pregnant woman's diet will cause a condition known as spina bifida in the offspring.

Vitamins and minerals come from food. Many vitamins and minerals are contained in whole unprocessed vegetables, fruits and grains. As Americans, we are probably the most undernourished, well-fed people on the planet.  Much of the diet Americans consume is laden with empty calories and not at all nutritious. Americans suffer from calcium defeciency bone-loss as they age because they do not consume dairy products as they get older.

Soda, coffee, tea, and other non-nutritious snack foods do nothing to protect our bodies from the nutritional losses that come from aging. A steady diet of sugar, salt, carbohydrate and fats contributes to coronary artery disease, cardiovascular disease, and strokes. Americans are constantly hungry because the nutritional needs of the body are not being met by the diet of fast foods and commercially prepared processed foods.

Obesity is the number one health problem in America. Obesity contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and bone and joint problems. The concept that there are 4 major food groups with two of them being animal protein strikes me as being heavily influenced by the meat and dairy industry. Is broccoli more appealing or French Fries? Would you rather eat an apple or have a soda?  Our taste buds have been overstimulated by our chemical diet to the cost of our health and bodies.  The addition of growth hormones to the meat producing livestock contributes to the obesity problems in Americans as we consume the meat from these animals. The shift away from raw and naturally produced foods toward more heavily processed foods has allowed America to become fat.

As people age, the fiber requirement goes up. The lack of fiber in the diet has been attributed to the rise of colon cancers. Dietary fiber helps move food through the gut and acts as a broom taking bits of undigested material out with it. The use of dietary fiber as an intestinal broom goes back to the earliest written histories.


Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The components of a balanced diet contribute to an individual's health and different stages primarily because the body's needs are different as it matures.  The diet of a 50 year old adult female will differ from a 17 year old male because the needs of the body are different in both.  While the body might change, the balanced and healthy notion of food intake will ensure that these needs are met regardless of the body's stage.

...a balanced diet varies based on age, sex and activity level. We all should eat from each food group and limit our fats, sweets and oils. It is important for children to consume some fats and oils as their growing bodies need these to function properly; so it is not a good idea to put the entire family on a diet just because the adults in the family need to lose weight. Each individual has different caloric requirements based on their age, sex and activity level. (Quintile 2- the second website featured below.)

It becomes essential to develop the habit of ensuring a balanced diet because it removes the guesswork of what a particular person needs at a particular stage.  As opposed to reacting to what the body needs, consistent intake of balanced diet components ensure that the body has what it needs as it matures and develops.

raid1802 | Student

A balanced diet would help in the betterment of one's body. What I would like to discuss is information on weight gain. It is good to keep a balanced diet, though some women wonder why despite they starve themselves, they still gain weight.

What you should understand is that your female hormones and weight gain is the work of nature. Since your body knows exactly how much body fat it needs to function properly, you should not worry over temporary increase in weight. It is during crucial times such as puberty, pregnancy and even menopause that your body works biologically in order to keep it in good condition.

During puberty, your figure develops into that of a woman. It is during this time that your hormones work so that fat tissues grow in places in your body where they are needed most, particularly the hips and the breast. Your estrogen levels, at this point, are at its peak. This shouldn’t worry you, however, if you look closely, you will see that you are now developing those beautiful curves you always see on TV. Don’t go on a hunger strike, but instead give it more time. Soon the excess fat will shed off and you can go parade your success.

During pregnancy, on the other hand, most of the fat you gain is concentrated around your buttocks hips and thighs, and also of course in your tummy area and the breasts. All these can be attributed to “baby gain” which your body needs to support the weight of the baby inside your womb. This weight gain, however, will naturally be lost after delivery. The process becomes even quicker when you eat right and exercise regularly.

During menopause, your physique will change again into a more apple-shaped figure, as fat will be distributed mostly around your belly. The reason for this is that during this stage, the female hormones of your body naturally decline. Since estrogen, a female hormone, is needed to protecting your bones, breasts and bladder, your body tends to find means to make up for its loss by producing this hormone from other sources. One efficient source of estrogen is fat cells. Knowing this, the body converts calories into fat to increase estrogen levels.

Now that you know that you gain weight not because you eat too much, it’s about time you quit starving yourself. Instead get your hormone levels checked. It’s most possible your female hormones are out of balance.

syssy | Student

describe how the components of a balance diet contrubuite to tennagers

junepinto00 | Student

A well balanced diet provides the right minerals and vitamins to keep body and mind strong and healthy. Eating well helps in the prevention of diseases as well as helps in maintaining a healthy body weight, and provides energy.


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roseyh403 | Student

People need vitamins and minerals throughout their lifespan to keep bodily functions going and energy levels at their peak. Calories also do this. Different ages require a shift in some vitamin levels as well as amount and capacity of physical activity achieved per day.

Hope I helped!

donaldholton | Student

yes it is true the different components of a balanced diet contribute to individual health. At the teenage it is no problem, all the food we intake will be good for our health. After teenage the best diabetic diet is to be followed inorder to get releive from diabetes. It is necessary to follow doctor's food prescribtions which helps to keep the health good at different stages of life.

kpalmer18 | Student

A balanced diet must contain carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts and fibre