Executive Summary This project analyzes proper nutrition as a necessity for a quality lifestyle and as a method of disease prevention. Furthermore, it presents some organizational endeavors to educate employees of the mortgage company about the benefits regarding proper nutrition. The focus of my research is to explore the options that proper nutrition provide for improvements in quality of life and life expectancy for the working people in modern society. The paper also explains the food guide pyramid and nutritional labels.
The research paper, accompanied by the multimedia presentation, will persuade the employees that good nutrition and healthful diets are a solid foundation for positive outcomes in all aspects of their lives. “When you get right down to it, food is practically the whole story every time. ” Kurt Vonegut (Galapagos) Introduction: All living things need food and water to live. Beyond that, we need nutrients to live well. From this standpoint, we can describe nutrition as a science of how the body uses food (Favor, 2005, p. 9). Understanding how good nutrients protect us and enable us to function properly is of great importance.
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Nutrition’s primary task is to describe which foods and beverages provide the energy and essential materials we need to support our bodies and maintain every organ and system. To some extent, nutrition is involved in almost all of the aspects of human life. Carol Ann Rinzler states it as:” Nutrition is about why you eat [c] what you eat and how the food you get affects your body and health”(2004, p. 10). Improving knowledge about the importance of nutrition and developing healthy eating habits is one of the most important challenges of our society.
Nutrition is the foundation for health and development, and it plays significant role in our work lives. Healthy people are stronger, more productive and able to create greater opportunities through their work lives. Proper nutrition can help extend or decrease our productivity and define the longetivity of our work life as we progress in older age. Problems that are arising from not consuming proper nutrients are having impact on businesses nowadays. According to United Nations International Labor Office (UNILP), “Poor diet on the job is costing countries around the world up to 20 percent in lost productivity.
The problem is two-fold: the malnutrition that plagues developing countries and the excess weight and obesity that afflict mostly industrialized economies ” (2007, n. d. ). Nowadays companies are promoting consumption of proper nutritional meals as a way of helping their employees have better, healthier lifestyles and also to get a competitive advantage. Christopher Wanjek in Food At Work: Workplace Solutions For Malnutrition, Obesity And Chronic Diseases states : “In the U. S. , the annual economic costs of obesity (insurance, paid sick leave, and other payments) is $12. 7 billion.
The world is facing a “food gap,” with one out of six people on the planet undernourished, and an equal number overweight or obese” (2005, p. 47). Healthful Diet The Dietary Guidelines describe a healthy diet as one that: ??Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; ??Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and ??Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars” (“Guidelines,” 2009, para. 2). The food pyramid is essential tool for better understanding the healthful diet and establishing daily eating plan .
Many people don’t consume the right amount of many nutrients, which was the reason for the United States Department of Agriculture to develop a visual guide for daily eating called Food Pyramid. Food Pyramid was established in 1992 and updated in 2005, and in 2010 a new proposed version of the pyramid is expected to be developed. The Food Pyramid uses six different sections to represent the five different food groups plus the oils. A healthy diet includes foods from all six groups every day. Main groups in the food pyramid are: Grains: which includes foods made from wheats, rice, barley and oats.
Vegetables: includes both vegetables and vegetable groups. Fruits: includes fruits and fruit juices. Milk: all milk and milk products that retain their calcium content. Meat and beans group: contains a variety of protein rich foods. Oils group: includes liquid oils and butter, as well as oils found in nuts, fish, salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine and other foods. The typical person in United States derives more than a third of the calories from fat. Fat and sugars (both natural and added) consist of more than a half of the total daily energy intake. This is the main reason for widespread obesity.
Diets rich in fat and sugar, and low in carbohydrates and fiber is linked to increased risks of chronic diseases as diabetes, chronic heart deceases and cancer. Excessive fat intake has been called the number-one problem in U. S. diet (Favor, 2005, p. 38). The Dietary Guidelines recommend that fat consumption should be reduced to less than 30% of the daily calorie intake. The knowledge of basic nutrition helps weight management. “MyPyramid helps individuals use the Dietary Guidelines to: ??Make smart choices from every food group. ??Find balance between food and physical activity. ??Get the most nutrition out of calories. Stay within daily calorie needs (“Mypyramid”, 2009, para 3. ). Nutritional Supplements: Many people nowadays are using nutritional supplements to overcome nutritional deficiencies. Workers need all the nutrients in the proper amounts for optimum health. There is a wide variety of nutritional supplements that usually include: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, metabolite, herb and botanical extracts. They can be in any form: tablets, capsules, liquids, gelcaps or powders. According to Carol Ann Rinzler: “Many people consider vitamin and mineral supplements a quick and easy way to get nutrients without shopping and kitchen time.
Others take supplements as nutritional insurance. And some even use supplements as substitute for drugs” (2004, p. 58). A problem that arises with the increased use of nutritional supplements, is that the FDA does not regulate most supplements. Supplement manufacturers can launch products that are not tested at all just by sending the FDA a copy off the language on the label. If we just take a quick look at some of the energy drinks at local gas stations, we can see that some of them have 3000% of the recommended daily intake. The research done by the Doping Control Laboratory shows that: ???40% tested positive for stimulants and pro-hormones The quantity of nutrients differed significantly between two containers of the same product; and ???The concentration of nutrients ranged widely between individual capsules from the same container. (Keeton, 2007, p15). If workers are not receiving the proper amount of recommended nutrients then they should consider the use of nutritional supplements. Before buying those products, it is very important to: consult with dietitian about particular supplement, check the ingredients list, choose well-known brand and check the storage requirement. We should always now that fresh orange is better option over vitamin C pill.
Nutritional Labels-Importance and Proper Reading Since 1994 food manufacturers have to list the nutritional content of their products on nutritional labels so consumers can have accurate information about the food they purchase. But food labels are more than just federal requirements, because they can be very useful tools for planning healthier meals. (Kurtzweill, 1994, para 2). Photo courtesy of: http://www. fitnoke. com/content_images/nutrition_label. jpg Nutritional information on the label is based on serving size. Serving size is at the top of the food label and contains the information about the number of servings in the package.
It is important to know the number of servings per package, because the rest of the information is based on single serving. For example, the label for the macaroni & cheese tell us the calories per serving are 250. This means that after consuming the package of macaroni& cheese the total calorie intake will not be 250 but 500(250 * 2 = 500), because one package of macaroni& cheese has two servings. This section provides information about the total number of calories and how many of them come from fat. This part of the label does not tell if they come from saturated or unsaturated fat. Sager, 2009,para 3) On the right side of the label, there is column with list of percentages. Those percentages represent the % daily values and tells us how much of sodium, cholesterol or vitamin C we will consume in one serving and how much we need for the entire day based on 2000 calorie diet. The next section on the food label provides information about the name of the nutrient (Fat, Sugar, Sodium and Carbohydrate) and the amount of the nutrient in one serving. This section is very important especially for people eating diet that restricts certain nutrients or who have diabetes or high blood pressure (Kurtzweill, 1994, para 2).
It is strongly recommended that we consume less that 100% of those nutrients. The next part of the nutritional label provides information about Vitamins, Minerals and Other information. We should always try to average 100% for Vitamin A and C, calcium and fiber. The bottom part of the label is the footnote. This part provides information about the key nutrients listed and how much we should consume depending on the daily calorie intake. Conclusion Nutrition is a key factor for quality of life among working people. How well our bodies work depends on how appropriately they are nourished.
A healthy diet will provide our body with the right amount of energy and enable it to stay healthy. The information in this research report was not meant to provide steps for quick weight loss, but useful information for quality lifestyle makeovers. Educating ourselves about the importance of nutrition will lead to lifetime habits for healthy lifestyle and learned commitment for: ??Well-balanced diets that meet nutritional needs ??Making smart choices using the food guide pyramid ??Using the right nutritional supplements and ??Proper use of nutritional labels for meal planning. References Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2009).
Retrieved May 12, 2009, from http://www. http://www. health. gov/DietaryGuidelines/dga2005/document/default. htm Favor, L. J. (2005). Nutrition and weight management. Tarrytown, NJ: Benchmark Books. Keeton, C. (2007, July 22). Supplements pumped up with banned substances. Sunday Times. Retrieved May 12, 2009, from LexisNexis databese. Kurtzweil, P. (1994, April). Food label close-up. FDA Consumer. Retrieved May 15, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Dateline database. MyPyramid (2009). Retrieved May 12, 2009, from http://www. mypyramid. gov Rinzler, C. A. (2004). Nutrition for dummies . Hoboken: Wiley Publishing. Sager, M. (2009, January 4).
Healthy choices. Tribune Business News. Retrieved May 15, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Dateline database. Wanjek, C. (2005). Food at work: Workplace solutions for malnutrition, obesity and chronic diseases . International Labour Review. Retrieved May 13, 2009, from http://www. ilo. org/public/english/revue/index. htm TABLE OF CONTENTS: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY………………………………………………………. 1 INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………… 2 HEALTHFUL DIET …………………………………………………………….. 3 NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS……………………………………………… 5 NUTRITIONAL LABELS-INSTRUCTION AND PROPER READING……. 7 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………… 9 NUTRITION MAY 27, 2009