Nutrition is an essential component of health promotion, because without proper nutrition the risk for non-communicable illness increases. Four of the leading causes of death in the United States are linked to poor nutrition. However, this problem is directly linked to over consumption of foods high in fat and calories. This is coupled with an inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables (Falkner, 2018).
Some of the nutritional challenges present in emerging populations are related directly to their genetic predisposition. However, many of the challenges are due to food preferences. For instance, some cultures prohibit certain food items. Additional consideration must be made for ceremonial or religious food, as well as food preparation methods. The problem is exacerbated by the quantity of high fat, high sugar, processed foods that are readily available at low cost. Healthier food choices often cost more. This creates even more of a problem for a lower-income family (Falkner, 2018).
Both nutritional deficits and nutritional excesses have a role in disease processes. For instance, certain disease processes, such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes occur more frequently in obese populations. In fact, dietary modifications greatly reduce the risk of poor outcomes related to obesity (Falkner, 2018). In addition, nutritional deficits can also lead to illness. A recent study concluded that 58% of women with polycystic ovary disease were also vitamin D deficient (Hanif,Qamar,Aslam,Omar, Mustafa,& Masood, 2019). Another case study showed that a B12 deficiency can cause neuropathy and hyperpigmentation of the lower extremities (Turnquist & Holt, 2020). A balanced diet with the proper intake of vitamins and minerals is essential for health in all three stages of health promotion. When implemented in primary health promotion, proper nutrition may significantly reduce the risks of illness or disease.
Falkner, A., (2018). Cultural Awareness. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Health promotion: health and wellness across the continuum. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/3
Hanif, Q., Qamar, S., Aslam, P., Omar, H., Mustafa, N., & Masood, S. (2019). Association of vitamin D deficiency with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal, 69(2), 241–244. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&sid=63e3b836-df2d-4857-a070-d16c4fd4bfaa%40pdc-v-sessmgr05
Turnquist, M. & Holt, C., (2020) Fresh fruits and vegetables really do keep the doctor away: symptomatic vitamin deficiency in a middle aged man, Journal of maine medical center 2(1), 1-3. Retrieved from https://knowledgeconnection.mainehealth.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=jmmc
Topic 4 DQ 2
In order to provide holistic care to patients, health promotion becomes a necessity whereby patients are empowered with tools to practice and live healthy lives. Having said this, nutrition therefore becomes the first step to assisting patients live healthier lives. Due to the abundance of highly-processed, convenient and in-expensive sources of comfort food, the US along with other countries globally suffer a growing crisis of obesity and other co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases among others secondary to unhealthy feeding (Falkner, 2018). According to statistics, nearly 1 in 3 adults is considered obese and approximately 81.6% of adults fail to get the recommended amount of daily activity. Furthermore, the American society is noted to have moved from being a country of nutritional deficit-related diseases to one of noncommunicable diseases related to nutritional excess and overconsumption (ODPHP, n.d.). It is because of this shift that healthcare professionals and other government programs such as Healthy People 2020 have embarked on working closely with different community populations to promote and restore health through advocacy of healthy eating patterns.
Despite nutrition being considered rudimentary to all people regardless of culture; different cultures have varying customs, traditions, religions and routines that impact daily nutritional preferences. Given the cultural diversity and emerging population growth in the US, there are different challenges that may be a barrier to healthy nutrition. Firstly, being new in the US, these populations may have difficulties accessing their preferred food choices they are used to, and thus may resort to fast foods. Moreover, as they strive to settle in, most may be financially strained to afford healthy meals and thus would prefer highly-processed cheaper food which equally poses health concerns. Secondly, some of the emerging minority populations like LGTBQ face adversities and discrimination and they are mostly biased from accessing medical information including nutritional knowledge and so they end up marginalized (Landry, 2017). Thirdly, limited resources, unemployment and poverty has led to homeless populations whereby they not only exposed to violence and high stress levels but also lack of clean water and proper nutrition. Last but not least certain habits of different cultures like the Mexican-American involves frequent family meal sharing where their food is prepared with lard and served in large portions with less vegetables, something that is inconsistent with health nutrition (Falkner, 2018).
Some diseases such as obesity, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and cancer have a direct correlation to poor dietary intake that has consistency in nutritional excesses of salt, fat, calories and cholesterol (Patience, 2016). On the contrary, nutritional deficiency has also caused malnutrition a condition that predisposes patients to various communicable diseases such as respiratory problems for lack of adequate immunity. While most of the causative factors to nutritional excesses may be lifestyle-related and modifiable, other factors of nutritional deficiencies may be due to lack of access to resources and thus requiring an interdisciplinary team effort and collaboration with relevant stakeholders to eliminate barriers to balanced nutrition. Careful consideration of nutritional aspects therefore becomes paramount when doing health promotion as ignorance of it can lead to different diseases that can be avoided. Conclusively, nutritional health ultimately becomes relevant to health promotion and preservation, and if well mastered leads to family wellness and prevention of diseases.
Falkner, A. (2018). In GCU’s Health Promotion: Health and Wellness Across the Continuum. Retrieved from
Landry, J. (2017). Delivering culturally sensitive care to LGBTQI patients. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 13(5), 342-347. doi: 10.1016/j.nurpra.2016.12.015
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.). Nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Nutrition-Physical-Activity-and-Obesity/data
Patience, S. (2016). Advising patients on nutrition and healthy eating. British Journal of Nursing, 25(21), 1182.
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