Saturday, 6 October 2012

Do You Know The Food You Eat Can Bring Health or Sickness?

Food can bring health or sickness depending on your eating habits. Inadequate helping and  wrong food mixtures leads to malnutrition. Good nutrition is not optional but a basic human need and a fundamental human right. Therefore it’s essential for all people individually and collectively to care for their nutrition. Global Food and nutrition security for the 9 billion by 2050 is the goal of all the world’s nations including Kenya. According to  surveys carried out by the Ministry of public health Kenya 70% of children less than 5years of age are found to have vitamin A deficiency, 55% of women and 47% of men have inadequate blood. These results are indicators of poor family nutrition.

Why should you eat? It’s important to feed for right reasons which include:-
  1. Body building in growing children and young people
  2. To get energy for daily activities for all people
  3. For maintenance and repair in adults
Millions of people globally feed with the following wrong motives and consequently they don't care what they are feeding on:-
    • To stop hunger
    • To fulfill routine
Malnutrition is a result of eating inadequate amount or wrong food mixtures while hunger is a result of food shortage. This means malnutrition can occur when there is abundance due to wrong mixtures. Good Eating habits observe the following:-
    • Distribution :Frequency: Eat 3 balanced meals + 2 snacks Daily
    • Contents: Eat balanced/diversified meals which provides all the nutrients required by the body.
    • Amount: eat enough/adquate to provide the body with the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of all the essential nutrients.
A balanced meal has the following 7 essential nutrients:-
  1. Proteins
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Vitamins
  4. Minerals
  5. Fats/Oils
  6. Fibre
  7. Clean Drinking Water: At least 8 glasses  / person/ day taken 20 minutes after a meal, to avoid diluting digestive enzymes.
The  functions of water in the body includes:-
    • Refreshing and body cleansing
    • Age therapy
All these essential nutrients should be should betaken at every sitting to promote good utilization by the human body. When taken at different times, utilization by the body is poor leading to wastage and poor health.

The family farm should therefore  provide the following 6 key food groups for food and nutrition security achievement.
1.      Carbohydrates
2.      Legumes
3.      Fruits
4.      Vegetables
5.      Animal source
6.      Clean drinking water
High impact nutrition intervention areas according to ministry of public health Kenya includes:-
  1. Food production: Diversify production to ensure that all the above six groups are available on the family farm in order to provide the 7 essential nutrients. 
  2. Breastfeeding: Sole breast feeding of infants for the first 6 months excluding even water. This alone has been observed to reduce child mortality by 13% which is line with millennium development goals. Breastfeeding should then continue for two years during the period in which alternatives are introduced gradually.
  3. Expectant mothers:  intervention benefits both mother and child.
  4. Lactating Mothers:                         ’’
  5. Nutrition education for school children in order to develop the culture early
  6. Food security for all people including the toothless aged. You cannot say there is food security for this category of citizens when the only food available is maize and beans.