The Dietary Guidelines For Food Intake Essay

The Dietary Guidelines For Food Intake Essay

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Moderation is vital in all aspects of life and is necessary for overall health, including with one’s food intake. Protein is one of the many important nutrient building blocks that is necessary for proper growth and good health. However, eating excessive amounts of any nutrient or inadequate amounts, can cause various health concerns. Scientists have been able to estimate the amount of nutrients that the body requires. However, the amount of any particular nutrient varies from person to person, depending on your “age, sex, general health status, physical activity level, and use of medications and drugs” (Schiff 2013). It is also important to remember that consuming the required amount of nutrients that meets your dietary guidelines does not mean you will achieve an optimal nutritional status either. However, it is central to understand the health risks associated with lack of protein and what diseases can ensue because of the deficiency, including protein-energy malnutrition diseases like kwashiorkor.
Even though there are numerous families that struggle to put food on the table, protein deficiency is rare in the United States, but can be seen in third world countries like Africa. However, protein deficiency disorders can occur even in the United States with people suffering from “alcoholism, anorexia nervosa, or certain intestinal tract disorders, [as well as] those who are elderly, have limited incomes, and are chronically ill”(Schiff 2013). Under nutrition of any kind is due to a lack of food in some fashion whether from crop failures, political unrest, or civil wars, but the etiology of Kwashiorkor and other protein deficiencies is often more complicated. Protein energy malnutrition (also known as PEM) affects people who do n...


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... of protein/kg of body weight. The EAR for protein increases during pregnancy, breastfeeding, period of rapid growth, or recovery from serious illnesses, blood losses, and burns” (Schiff 2013). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that 10 to 35 percent of a person’s daily caloric intake come from protein. Furthermore, in order to prevent kwashiorkor from developing, children ages 1-3 years need to have 5-20 percent of their energy from protein, children ages 4-18 years need 10-30 percent from protein, and adults need 10-35 percent protein. In other words, kwashiorkor is an avertible disease that can be prevented if infants and children are consuming at least 9.1-19 grams of protein each day depending on their age and weight (Kamala 1974). However, often times even with the knowledge, kwashiorkor still occurs and therefore requires treatment.

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