Food For A Healthy Planet

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Word Count

1000 words


Food & Nutrition


2 Days

Assignment Criteria

QUESTION 1: Nutritionists are concerned that the levels of dietary intake of  sodium are too high for good health. Discuss the reasons for these  concerns. Discuss the ways in which the Australian government and the  food industry can help to decrease the burden of disease associated with  high sodium consumption. 

QUESTION 2: In low-income and middle-income countries under nutrition of  mothers and children is responsible for 45% of the deaths of children who are  less than 5 years old. Discuss the interventions and approaches that will help  reduce this global problem. In your discussion identify the key actions that will  help accelerate this progress

QUESTION 3: What is needed to make food safe for consumers? Using an  example used in lectures 9 & 10 discuss the challenges of maintaining safe food  systems (note this topic will be presented in week 5 by David Tribe). 

QUESTION 4: Simple sugars and complex carbohydrates are sources of energy,  but they have different implications for human health. Discuss these  implications? How do the Australian Dietary Guidelines incorporate concerns  about the effects of different forms of carbohydrates? How well do the guidelines achieve their aims? Discuss. 

QUESTION 5: One of the greatest challenges will be to feed the growing world  population in a sustainable way. Discuss why it is a challenge and ways this  challenge can be overcome.

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Assignment Solution

Food is a basic need for all human beings across the globe. There is a dilemma between a good food and a bad food. Good foods are those that produce sufficient calories without producing metabolic diseases or lifestyle hazards. They do not add to the all-cause mortality and morbidity too. On the other hand, bad foods are those that may provide either insufficient calories or might add to the all-cause mortality and morbidity of an individual. There should be a balance between diet and exercise through physical activities for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Even, certain methods of food production and the components provided in foods might not be suitable either for human health or for the environment as such. Certain foods also contain components like minerals or vitamins that might cause disease burden (Merson, Black, and Mills, 2005). The following assignment undertakes certain issues as follows:

Increased sodium burden

The nutritionists are concerned regarding, the high sodium content in certain foods. The reason for such concerns is the probability of an increase in blood pressure. Increased sodium load in the body leads to secretion of angiotensin II in our body. Angiotensin II is a potent vasoconstrictor which causes an increase in peripheral resistance. This leads to an elevated blood pressure and may aggravate the situation of hypertension. Further, due to the increase in peripheral resistance, after-load of the heart increases leading to left ventricular failure or simply heart failure. This increased intake of sodium leads to an increase in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in a patient. Moreover, increased sodium load causes associated reabsorption of water in the renal medulla, leading to hypervolemia which once again increases the work of the heart (Merson et al., 2005). 

The Australian Government and the Food industry may help to decrease the burden of disease due to high sodium consumption. Policymakers should ensure that all foods that are marketed should contain restricted amounts of sodium according to recommended dietary allowances (RDA). The food technologists must try out other means and methods to decrease the sodium content of food without compromising on taste and flavor. 

Managing undernutrition in low and middle- income countries

In low and middle- income countries undernutrition is a serious issue. These individuals, especially the mother and children, suffer from calorie deficiency and protein deficiency. When a child suffers from calorie deficiency and protein deficiency below the age of 1 year, this undernutrition status is termed marasmus. On the other hand, when an individual with more than 1 year of age suffers from protein deficiency without a deficiency of total calories, the undernutrition status is termed kwashiorkor. Hence, Marasmus and Kwashiorkor contribute to child mortality.  

The interventions that are immediately needed is to ensure access to free and nutritious food for the nursing mothers and their children, till the age of at least 5 years to ensure proper development of the immune system (World Health Organization). 

Moreover, there should be provisions of mid-day meal (for example, India) for children, who are reaching primary or secondary schools. This will not only ensure good health but will also contribute to lesser 'dropouts' in such countries. 

To mobilize such process mass feeding and school feeding programs should be funded by the local government and may engage non- profit organizations involved with social work, to oversee the project. To expedite such process, the policymakers must ensure the production of low-cost nutritive foods which should not be impacted by inflation (WHO). 

Need to make food safe for customers

As discussed certain foods are fortified with compounds for flavor and aroma, without any nutritive or calorific value. Such compounds (for example monosodium glutamate), may lead to obesity or cancer on chronic consumption.  The policymakers and food inspectors should undertake stringent vigilant measures to control the number of such compounds limited to 'safe for human consumption'.  

The Enforcement agencies should ensure that handling of food intended for sale, the equipment used to prepare such foods and the preservatives that are used to process such food is guided by Regulatory Standards. A deviation from such standards should be considered as a punishable offense and further selling or marketing of such food items should be banned. 

The standards of food safety including maintaining of aseptic premises, manual handling and equipment maintenance should strictly adhere.

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