Diet Variation during Life Stages Development

Dietary reference values were developed by the department of health 1991 to replace recommended daily amounts (RDA’S). DRV are a suggested amount of energy and nutrient intakes and they should not be taken in as exact amounts. They are just guidelines for people of the same age group and they show an estimate of how much energy and nutrients should be taken in and sometimes if can be decided by the gender. These recommendations show what people need for good health. Even though DRV are given as daily intakes, people don’t eat the same foods every day and so their appetite can change. Consequently the intakes of energy and nutrients are averaged over several days moreover DRV only apply to healthy people.

DRV is a used term to cover the following:

. Estimated Average Requirements – The average amount of energy and nutrients needed by a person or group to stay healthy.

. Reference Nutrient Intake – An amount of nutrient to meet the needs to stay healthy and this effects about 97% of people.

. Lower Reference Nutrient Intake – This is the amount of nutrient that is enough for a small group of people. Many people will need more than this.

. Safe Intake – This is used when there isn’t enough evidence to set an EAR, RNI or LRNI. The safe intake is enough for people but below this could have undesirable effects.

Malnutrition and Nutrient Deficiencies

The term malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies means eating unbalanced meals as something that happens on a daily basis. This can lead to poor health because they are not healthy. It can also be related to under-nutrition or over-nutrition. Under-nutrition is where there is not enough food for the whole population which means that a lack of proteins, carbohydrates and other nutrients can cause marasmus which is caused by not getting enough calories or kwashiorkor which is caused by a lack of protein. This caused wasting of the body. The two types of people who are most at risk of starvation are old people and young people. Under-nutrition is rare in the UK as there is plenty of food to feed the whole of the UK. Iron deficiency is an example of under-nutrition which can lead to anaemia. Over-nutrition is mainly related to countries where there is too much food and this can cause obesity, heart disease, liver damage and tooth decay.

Diet Variation during Life Stages Development

Preconception and Pregnancy – If a couple are planning to have a baby then it is advised that both parents have good health and they should consider their alcohol and diet intake as this can affect the foetus. If one of the parents has a high level of alcohol then sperm may not be produced properly and if the mother has this then there can be physical problems with the baby. The woman should have folic acid in her diet which is balanced and this will help the baby’s spinal cord to develop successfully. Moreover protein is vital for new growth. Foods that can harm the foetus should be avoided because they will contain bacteria. These foods can be unpasteurised milk and uncooked eggs.

Baby – Any baby born should be breastfed until the age of at least 6 months or given formula milk. This decision is up to the parents. Weaning onto solid foods is not advised before 6 months as the baby may not be used to swallowing. The baby should be given a variety of tastes and be introduced into a smooth consistency and then the foods get lumpier as they grow and learn to chew.

Child – At this point in the child’s life they should be eating foods that are lumpy and contain a lot of protein as they start to grow rapidly. Carbohydrates are used to provide the child with energy and this is because the child is becoming more active and learning new skills. Also calcium and vitamin D are good for a child as they need strong teeth and bones.

Adolescent – Girls who are at this stage in life are going through puberty as their body changes as a result they need a diet high in iron. All teenagers need enough protein in their diet to help their body go through the changes it needs to. However at this stage some adolescent go mad and eat fatty foods which can lead to problems like obesity and tooth decay. Education is required about the benefits of a balanced diet and the dangers of excessive alcohol intakes.

Adult – Adults should have enough knowledge to know what a balanced diet is. As they grow older their metabolism slows down so the portion sizes what they eat should be changed. Their diets should contain enough iron.

Older Person – As their life reaches this stage their physical state becomes less active and so their diet should contain less fats and more protein to help with the repair of cells especially if they are ill. Their diet should contain calcium to help maintain strong bones. Portions should be reduced as they are less mobile.

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