Understanding Your Nutritional Needs: 3 Factors to Consider

This review examines the main influences on food choice focusing on those that are susceptible to change. Learn how age, gender & activity level affect your caloric & nutritional needs.

Understanding Your Nutritional Needs: 3 Factors to Consider

Age, gender and activity level are three key factors that can have a major influence on a person's caloric and nutritional needs. It is essential to understand the determinants that affect food choice in order to prioritize changing the population's diet. This review examines the main influences on food choice, focusing on those that are susceptible to change, and analyzes some successful interventions. Time constraints are often mentioned as a barrier to following nutritional advice, particularly among young people with an educational level.

Establishing sustainable food systems, educating people about healthy diets and lifestyles, maintaining government and local food assistance programs, and organizing nutrition assessment programs in schools, shelters, nursing homes and nursing homes are just some of the ways to improve nutritional status and reduce the burden of malnutrition on the health system. A holistic, team-based approach is necessary to take into account general data from clinical examination, diet evaluation, and diagnostic tests to determine a patient's comprehensive nutritional status. Accessibility to stores is another important physical factor that influences food choices, which depends on resources such as transportation and geographical location. Information should be collected systematically and an assessment of nutritional status should be carried out based on the general data collected.

Evaluating nutritional status is critical for identifying if a person has a nutritional imbalance due to an underlying condition or for assessing whether a person is likely to develop a pathological condition due to a nutritional imbalance. Nutritional assessment allows healthcare providers to systematically assess patients' overall nutritional status, diagnose malnutrition, identify underlying pathologies that lead to malnutrition, and plan necessary interventions. The recommended nutritional needs for boys and girls of the same age are the same early in life, but as they approach adolescence, men need additional nutritional intake. Nutritional and clinical treatment based on comprehensive nutritional evaluation produces positive health care outcomes by reducing the recovery period, the length of hospital stay, the risk of complications, the susceptibility to infections, and the mortality associated with clinical and surgical diseases.

Interventions such as raising awareness and increasing knowledge about nutrition have been successful in some cases; however, their effectiveness for any real and long-term behavioral change is currently unclear. According to the guidelines of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), a comprehensive nutritional evaluation involves a thorough clinical examination (medical history and physical examination), anthropometric measurements, diagnostic tests, and dietary evaluations. Addressing several dietary factors simultaneously has been shown to be effective in the primary care setting; however, even those consumers who recognize that their diet needs improvement are still well below generally accepted public health nutritional goals. When performing a nutritional assessment, it's important to understand that there is no single test that is best for evaluating nutritional status. The nutritional requirements of healthy people depend on several factors such as age, gender and activity level.

It is important to consider these factors when deciding your own nutritional needs.