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Effects Of Nutrition And Weight Status

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The nutrition and weight status of Americans has been a major concern for the past few decades as evidenced by the continuous goals of Healthy People 2020. According to their website, a poor diet and lack of exercise can put someone at risk for obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. By promoting the consumption of healthy diets and encouraging maintenance of a healthy body weight, Healthy People 2020 believes that they can meet all four of their goals to help improve and extend a person’s life.

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Defining health/wellness and disease/illness Some people might argue that health is merely the absence of disease. However, that is a vague definition. According to Potter and Perry health is defined as, “a state of complete physical, metal, and social wellbeing. ” Being healthy goes beyond the physical aspects of wellness. It includes your mental and emotional state. Often mental health affects physical health. Those with poor mental health related to anxiety or depression are proven to be more susceptible to illness. For example, someone with depression is more likely to develop constipation due to their lack of motivation to get out of bed. Something as simple as constipation can lead to something more serious such as a fecal impaction. With that being said, what is illness? Potter and Perry describe it as, “A state in which a person’s physical, emotional, intellectual, social, developmental, or spiritual function is diminished or impaired. ” Like the definition of health, illness is more than just a physical ailment. It can be mental, emotional, developmental, and even spiritual.

Variables Involved in Health/Wellness and Disease/Illness

There are two different types of variables that can influence someone’s beliefs and practices involving their own health. Each person has their own idea about health and illness, and they are influenced by internal and external variables. Internal variables include a person’s developmental stage, intellectual background, perception of functioning, emotional factors, and spiritual factors. A person’s developmental stage refers to their thoughts and behavior patterns throughout their lifetime. A person’s intellectual background is how a person thinks about their health. A person’s knowledge, or lack thereof, demonstrates their own understanding of health and illness. Perception of functioning is the way, “people perceive their physical functioning and how it affects their health beliefs and practices. ” Emotional factors involve a person’s level of stress, depression, or fears. And finally, spiritual factors are how a person lives their life. This can include their own values and beliefs, relationships, and their ability to find meaning in life. All these internal variables are related to how a person thinks and perceives their surroundings. External variables are kind of like outside factors. This includes family practices, psychosocial and socioeconomic factors, and cultural background.

Risk Factors Affecting Health/Wellness and Disease/Illness

According to Potter and Perry, “a risk factor is any situation, habit, or other variables, such a social, environmental, physiological, psychological, developmental, intellectual, or spiritual, that increases vulnerability of an individual or group to an illness or accident. ” Although a risk factor makes a person more vulnerable to disease and injury, it does not guarantee a complication will occur. A risk factor just makes someone more susceptible to illness and disease. Modifiable risk factors are things that we have control of. They are behaviors and activities that can be changed to help reduce the risk for disease and illness. These could include eating and exercise habits, consumption of alcohol, smoking, and even something as harmless as sunbathing. For example, someone who smokes cigarettes is more likely to develop lung diseases, those with poor diet and exercise are more likely to be over weight and as a result increase their risk for cardiovascular disease. All of these are examples of modifiable risk factors meaning that people can control these aspects of their own health. Non-modifiable risk factors are factors that cannot be changed or reduced to decrease the risk of illness or disease. These include age related complications and genetic/hereditary diseases. For example, as a person ages, their body starts to deteriorate. Not necessarily because of poor choices (although that can speed it up), but because the body begins to slow down as a natural response to aging. Having a family history of things like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or mental illness predisposes a person to developing them later in life.

Four Goals of Healthy People 2020 and Personal goals to avoid illness

Healthy People 2020 has four main goals. Potter and Perry identify those as, “achieving a higher quality of life by preventing diseases, injury, and premature death. Achieving health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve health of all groups. Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all. And finally, promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages. ” In addition to their four goals, Healthy People 2020 has objectives for each health promotion topic. According to their website, their objective regarding the nutritional and weight status of Americans is to, “promote health and reduce chronic disease risks through the consumption of healthful diets and maintenance of healthy body weight. ” This can easily be done by consuming more fruits and leafy greens and exercising more. Tatiana Onisei states that, “one out of three adults is overweight, a person out of three is obese and thereby only one adult out of three is in normal weight ranges. ” That’s just in the U. S. alone. She also adds that, “75% of Americans don’t eat fruit and 64% don’t eat vegetables. ” These are two very important food groups that would help in the maintenance of weight and improve nutritional status. As someone who has a history of hypertension and diabetes, my weight and nutrition status are very important to me. Although I am healthy, my blood pressure has always been on the higher end of what’s considered normal. Now that could be s small case of white-coat syndrome however, my family history predisposes me to develop hypertension as I get older. My goal is to prevent this and lower my risk is by eating healthy and exercising more frequently.

Four Models of Health

These four health models explain the relationship between health and illness and a patient’s behaviors towards them. The health belief model addresses the relationship between a person’s beliefs and behaviors and is made of three components. The first component addresses a patient’s perception of susceptibility to illness. For example, they would recognize that a family history of diabetes might put them at risk at developing it. The second component involves a patients perception of the seriousness of illness. And finally the third component is whether or not the patient will take preventative measures.

Levels of Preventative Care

According to Potter and Perry there are three levels of preventative care: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary prevention is also known as ‘true’ prevention. It is any activity or step taken to prevent disease and illness for individuals who are already considered healthy. This could include health education programs, immunizations, nutritional programs, and physical activity. Secondary prevention focuses on patients who already have health problems and are at risk to develop complications or worsening conditions. Tertiary prevention occurs when a disability or illness is permanent and irreversible. An example of this would be rehabilitation programs. As someone who has a family history of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, it is important to me to lower my chances of developing one or multiple of these conditions. Some primary prevention steps I could take would include improving my nutrition intake and incorporating physical exercise into my everyday routine. Those happen to be some of the objectives of Healthy People 2020 under the nutrition and weight status. Some secondary preventions I could take would be to get regular screenings and diagnostic testing for to make sure I am not at risk for developing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. These kinds of tests will detect illnesses early enough to reverse them through medical interventions.

15 July 2020

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