Nutrition Research Paper

12 December 2016

The nutrients in our diet give us energy and are necessary for our growth and function. The six categories of nutrients are water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Water functions in transport, chemical reactions, temperature maintenance, lubrication and etc. Carbohydrates function in being a source of energy and as a building block for other nutrients. Fats are used for energy, a source of heat, insulation, and body protection. Proteins are the most basic structural unit and are needed in metabolism, hormone, antibody, and DNA production. Minerals are used to form many body structures.

Most vitamins have multiple functions in the body involving metabolism, enzyme reactions, and etc. However, the amount of each nutrient required varies by person. Each individual’s energy requirements are different. Factors that influence this difference include: age, gender, and activity level. For example, an adult athlete would require more calories than a moderately active toddler because the adult would expend more energy through rigorous exercise.

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Knowing this, finding the correct diet can be difficult but there are two useful resources for those trying to plan out a balanced diet.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a book about recommendations that are intended to help people choose an overall healthy diet. The Food Guide Pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day based on the Dietary Guidelines. On the food pyramid, food is grouped into five major groups. In order from most important to the least, the groups are: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk & dairy, and meat & beans. The food groups are presented in the shape of a pyramid for a purpose. The pyramid shape helps visualize the serving amount one needs from each group.

Over the past few decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. This occurred because proper diet is difficult to balance out, and many Americans are not educated on nutrition. Our first Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move, a national campaign to eliminate childhood obesity, two years ago. Her campaign has pushed Americans into a rush for knowledge. Being aware of the nutrients necessary for the body, following the dietary guidelines, and the serving size requirements on the Food Pyramid could be the key to solving America’s weight issue.

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