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N U T R I T I O N



Nutrition - What is it?




Nutrition refers to the balance of nutrients taken into the body versus the bodies requirements for them. These nutrients break down into various categories and classifications. Ways of classifying nutrients include assessing:

Solids -v- Liquids
Macro-nutrients -v- Micronutrients
Fats -v- Carbohydrates -v- Proteins
Fibre (Wet -v- Dry) Content
Caloric content (calories or kilojoules)

It is important to understand that nutrition and nutritional requirements represent an ever-changing picture, a balance between requirements and input (food and supplements). Factors which influence this balance include:

Intake
Absorption
Utilisation
Storage
Excretion

A Deficiency State occurs when the body's requirements are not met, and this naturally varies from individual to individual. This can result from alteration to the factors listed above, ie

Decreased Intake: not eating, starvation and dieting, poor food choices, problems with chewing or swallowing
Decreased Absorption: gastrointestinal illness, alcohol, drugs
Decreased Storage: metabolic disease, liver disease
Increased utilisation: growing, pregnancy, lactation, surgery, infection, trauma, drugs (including the Pill)
Increased Excretion: gastrointestinal disease, drugs

Some people are particularly vulnerable to nutritional deficiency for one or more of the reasons mentioned above.

Increased Nutritional Risk:

Chronic Illness
Hospitalised
Institutionalised
Drug abuse
Alcohol abuse
Long term medication
Recent immigrants
Aborigines
Homeless
Solitary living
Teenagers
Elderly
Pregnant/lactating women

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