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Chapter 1 Outline: What is Nutrition?

Discuss factors that influence food choices
Define the term nutrition
Differentiate between the 6 categories of essential nutrients found in
food and in the body
Understand importance of well-balanced diet in meeting your daily
nutrient needs
Discuss current nutritional state of the American diet
Understand the scientific method that is involved in nutrition
research and identify reliable sources of nutrition information

Factors That Influence Your Food Choices:

Nutrition knowledge
Social reasons

Nutrition Is:
The science that links foods to health and disease. How the nutrients
and compounds in foods nourish your body, help you function and
affect your health.
It includes the processes by which the human organism ingests,
digests, absorbs, transports, and excretes food substances.

A Nutrient Is:
A substance or compound that sustains body processes
Found in food
Essential Nutrients:
Must be consumed from the diet
Omission leads to deficiency
Regain normal function when restored to the diet
Has specific biological function
o Some amino acids
o Glucose
o Vitamins
o Minerals
o Water

The Six Classes of Nutrients:


Nutrient Functional Categories:

Calories or Kilocalories (kcal)
o The measurement of energy in foods
For growth, development, maintenance and structure
o Muscles, bones, water, tendons, etc.
o Body temperature, blood pressure, hormones, etc.

Growth, Maintenance,
Energy Support, Structure,
Regulate Processes






Macro and Micronutrients:

o Needed in large quantities
o Contain calories
o Carbohydrates
o Protein
o Lipids (fats)
o Water
o Needed in smaller quantities
o Vitamins
o Minerals

Source of calories
o About 4 kcal/gm
Simple sugars
Complex carbohydrates
Dietary fiber

Source of calories
o About 9 kcal/gm
Fats and oils
Do not dissolve in water
Animal fats (solid)
Plant oils (liquid)
Essential fatty acids

Source of calories
o About 4 kcal/gm
Structural material
Amino acids- the building blocks of protein
Most Americans consume excess protein

Enable chemical reactions
Fat soluble
o Vitamins A, D, E, K
Water soluble
o B vitamins and vitamin C
Yield no energy

Inorganic substances
Numerous functions in the body
Major and trace minerals
Yield no energy

Numerous vital functions in the body
Majority of our body weight (about 60%)
Recommended intake
o 9-13 cups a day
Found in foods as well
Yield no energy

Chemicals found in plants (fruits and vegetables)
o Examples: Flavonoids, resveratrol

Substances from animal foods with health-promoting properties
Not considered essential nutrients
May provide significant health benefits

What is a Calorie?
Measurement of energy
The amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of
water by 1 degree Celsius
1,000 calories = 1kcal = 1(food) calorie

Introducing the Nutrients:

How can we calculate the energy available from foods?
o 5g fat x 9kcal/g = 45 kcalories
o 11g carb x 4kcal/g = 44 kcalories
o 8g protein x 4kcal/g = 32 kcalories
o Total = 121 kcalories

Practice Problem:
15 g carb x 4kcal/g = 60 kcal
3 g protein x 4kcal/g = 12 kcal
1 g fat x 9kcal/g = 9 kcal
Total = 80
What Happens When A Person Gets Too Little or Too Much Nutrition?
o Any condition caused by excess or deficient food energy or
nutrient intake or by and imbalance of nutrients.
o A person can be BOTH over and undernourished.

Poor, Obese, and Malnourished: A Troubling Paradox

Americans living near or below the poverty level have much higher
rates of obesity than affluent Americans
Children who are food insecure are more likely to be deficient in iron,
have colds and headaches, have delayed cognitive development, and
be at risk for behavioral problems
Some factors that lead to obesity in the food insecure:
o Inconsistent meal patters
o Household stress
o Limited access to supermarkets
o Convenience stores and fast-food restaurants

How Does the Average American Diet Stack Up?

High in:
o Added sugar, sodium, saturated fat, calories
Low in:
o Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, fiber
Lack of a healthy diet may also be due to where we eat- Americans
currently spend 40% of their food budget consuming food outside the

Consequences of the Standard American Diet (SAD):

High rates of overweight and obesity
o 65% are overweight and of those, about 35% are obese
o 15% of children ages 2-19 are overweight
o 17% are considered obese
o Consume more calories than needed
o Burn fewer calories due to sedentary lifestyles
o Increased rate of type 2 diabetes (especially children), heart
disease, cancer, stroke.
Nutrition Related Diseases:
Heart Disease

Health and Disease Risk:

Nutrigenetics: How genes effect the bodys response to nutrients
Nutrigenomics: How diet effects our genes

Steps of the Scientific Method:

Observe and ask a question
Formulate a hypothesis
Conduct an experiment
Does the experiment support the hypothesis?
o No? Review and/or reformulate hypothesis, retest
o Yes? If the hypothesis is supported
Publish the findings
Develop a theory
Test the theory with research
Establish a consensus

Testing the Theory with Research:

Select a large number of subjects
Randomly divide subjects into 2 groups
o Experimental group
o Control group
To prevent bias, neither the subjects or the scientists know which
group receives which treatment
Compare the results

How Scientists Study Nutrition:

Different types of experiments
o Epidemiological studies:
Make observations about relationships between health
and diet
o Experimental studies:
Clinical trials explore the health effects of altering
peoples diets
Animal studies explore the health effects of altering
diets in animals
Biochemistry and molecular biology- laboratory-based
techniques that are used to study nutrient functions in
the body.

Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study:

Placebo: A sugar pill that has no impact on the individuals health
when ingested
Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study: When scientists and subjects
in a research experiment cant distinguish between the treatments
given to the subjects and dont know which group of subjects received
the treatment
The Gold Standard of research

Data Collection Must Be Reliable and Measureable:

Examples of measurable:
o Body weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, etc.
Examples of things that are NOT measurable:
o Testimonies, opinions, etc.

Nutrition Science:
Be skeptical: Do no believe everything that you see or hear without
good supporting evidence.
Who are the trusted sources?
o Registered Dieticians
o Advanced Degrees in Nutrition Science

Can You Obtain Accurate Information from the Internet?

Be careful of reading health books, you could die of a misprint
Mark Twain
Who is running the website?
o Look for .gov .edu instead of .com or .net
What is the purpose of the site?
What is the source of the information?
Is the information reviewed?
How current is the information?
What is the sites policy about linking to other sites?
How does the site handle personal information?
How does the site manage interactions with visitors?