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Factors that Affect the Nutritional Requirements of an Individual.


The factors that affect the nutritional requirements of an individual are the quality and quantity of the food they eat, the efficiency of their digestive system in absorbing and utilizing eaten food and biochemical availability.

The quality of food that we eat can vary depending on the soil and growing conditions of that food. Soil that has been overworked and chemicals added and also drugs and antibiotics that have been given to livestock and crops to aid growth are all factors that affect nutrition in our food and can affect our own body's biochemistry. Nutritional quality of our food can be affected by the manufacturing process, storage and preparation of our food.

The quantity of food that we eat also influences our nutritional status. In developing countries malnutrition is a huge problem but in developed countries under nutrition can occur due to dependency on heavy refined processed foods.

The efficiency of our digestive system affects our nutritional status. Bad condition of our intestines will reduce the absorption of digested foods into our blood stream. Metabolic faults, sensitivity to certain food and the presence of substances like tea and coffee can affect the absorption rate of certain nutrients.

Biochemical availability is the optimum range of intake of a person essential nutritional requirement. This nutritional requirement is influenced by age, growth, sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding, illness, psychological and emotional stress, activity level and other factors like smoking and drinking.

Nutritional requirements change as a person gets older, because the elderly use a lot of medication their absorption, excretion and utilization of nutrients can be affected. Growing children have different nutritional needs to that of adults. For example, a growing infant requires a higher intake of essential fatty acids than that of an adult. In the same way there are different nutrition requirements for young and old there are also very different requirements between the sexes. For example, a woman's nutritional requirements can vary throughout her menstrual cycle, also a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding has different nutritional requirement to that of one who is not.Nutritional requirement vary depending on whether someone is healthy or ill. As diseases are unique so are the nutritional requirements needed whilst that person is ill. The same applies to psychological and emotional stress. When people are affected by stress their appetite is affected, this results in less intake of food which in turn results in less nutrients being absorbed.

A person activity level will affect their nutritional requirement. An athlete will need a different nutritional requirement to that of an office worker. Exercise improves metabolic efficiency in some people and increases nutrient requirement.

People may find that certain nutritional requirements are increase within their family. Genetics can play a part in an extra need for certain nutrients. Other factors such as using recreational drugs, smoking and drinking can affect nutrient requirements. Even beverages like Tea and Coffee can affect nutrient requirements; they both inhibit the absorption of Iron and Zinc.

Stewart Hare C.H.Ed Dip NutTh

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MORE RESOURCES:

10 Things Your Doctor Won't Tell You About Nutrition
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Extension slates health/nutrition classes
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After filling your belly and emptying you wallet over the Christmas and New Year's holidays, Virginia Cooperative Extension is holding a variety of programs to get you back on track. The “Step to Nutrition and Health” nutrition and fitness series will ...



Obama personal chef, nutrition policy adviser, friend hangs up White House ...
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Sam Kass has been a fixture at the executive mansion, serving up nutrition policy alongside meals for Obama, his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha. He was not only their personal chef but senior adviser for nutrition policy, giving him a ...



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"Tell me the new nutrition secret that will blow my mind." After nearly 15 years of being asked this question, I guess it's time to provide an answer. But I'll be honest, I dread when people make this specific request. It's not because breaking ...



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Barbara Bush Wants to Help Improve Nutrition Worldwide
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If babies do not get proper nutrition from the time they are conceived to two years after their birth, they risk irreversible mental and physical damage. For former first daughter Barbara Bush, CEO of Global Health Corps, this is a call to action ...
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