Medical Anthropology: Nutrition and Growth

The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the importance of nutrition in the process of growth in the entire life span of a human being. The issue of growth and nutrition is rooted to the timely availability of the right quality as well as quantity of food. Introduction Majority of the death cases affecting children is as a result of malnutrition. The primary effects are usually associated with the weakening of the immune system as well the potential of the body to resist illnesses.Malnutrition, therefore results from poor diet leading to frequent illnesses, a situation that is compounded inadequate care as far as the children are concerned.

Malnutrition of the child is a likely cause of the retardation of the physical and mental development of the child. Malnourishment of the mother during pregnancy or the malnourishment of the child since birth up to two years of age greatly contributes to this situation. This situation is usually irreversible in the course of development of the child.The provision of nutritious food in addition to health care and a protective environment are some of the most important basic rights required by the children for the purpose of their growth and development. The proper care as well as feeding of a child is a true art with the requirement that the provider is equipped with the necessary understanding as pertains the development and the normal growth of the child brought about by the proper nutrition as well as the habits and behavior of the child in addition to these, it is of crucial importance that a rapport in as far as the child and the supportive child’s family is concerned is in place.Literature review.

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It has been evident that in the majority of the children below the age of six years, the maintenance of patterns of healthy growth is usually associated with great difficulties. Childhood malnutrition is a common feature in the majority of the patients attending health centers in their consequent lives. The same case applies in as far as the children changing from tube feeding to the mouth feeding are concerned. The acquisition of the skills related to proper feeding is usually associated with difficulties as well as delays. The effects of malnutrition are also closely related to the behavioral issues of the children.These behavioral issues include the aversions to food and family stress that are sufficient to inhibit the weight gain of the child in a healthy manner.

It has therefore been observed that almost half of the patients in the health centers have some behavioral stress (Henry 245-303). It is therefore the responsibility of the doctors, their nurses, the social workers, dieticians as well as the psychologists to come up with a multidisciplinary approach that is comprehensive for the purpose of the evaluation as well as the treatment of the prevailing diseases related to growth.As far as the majority of the feeding and growth programs are concerned, the physical, psychological as well as the behavioral factors, all in combination, should be accorded the relevant weight that they deserve (Kozie 1012 -67). In as far as the society is concerned the realization of this fact has been responsible for the shaping of its development. The growth in population as well as the expansion of the urban centers has been in the past been under the influence of man in the course of the endless search of the much required food.

It is through this that the political as well as economic theories have been dictated and most of the prevalent wars been inspired. The life of the human being has been touched by food and its science. The importance of food is also exhibited by the practice of the majority of religious sects in the adoption and execution of strict laws as far as diet is concerned (Henry 325-33). Majority of the observations of the past in food chemistry all over the world have their origin on food cooking and preparation.In the majority of the communities, the distinction of the class to which individuals belong is a factor of the type and quality of food that can be accessed. The importance of food is also viewed in the dimension of the influence it has impacted in the field of technology. The importance of grain milling was resultant to the invention of water wheel in the period of industrial revolution.

It is important to appreciate the significance of the role played by food for the purpose of the existence of the individual (Henry 265-93). Food is responsible for the supply of energy in the body.Similarly, it is responsible for building, maintenance as well as the regulation of the muscles, the nerves, and bones brain in addition to all the existing organs of a person responsible for the physical being of the person. Apart from these roles, food has other functions of importance to the human body. The security as well as the happiness that people enjoy is all imputed to the quality and quantity of the food that the person takes.

The link of friendship that people enjoy in the society is rooted in the potential of accessing the right food.This is mostly portrayed in the instances of special occasions such as the holidays and religious occasions in which case the expression of individual pleasure as a sign of satisfaction in life (Kozie 1112 -67). In order to derive the maximum satisfaction as may be offered by food, it is important to understand the important classes from which the major nutrients can be derived from.

The main source of energy for our bodies is the carbohydrates. There also exits secondary sources such as the fats as well as the lipids although the majority of the energy from these sources occurs in a storage form.In certain circumstances, the proteins are in a position to act as a source of energy through a process of their breakdown in the situation of a shortage of supply from the other sources.

The primary function of the proteins in the body of a person is growth, repair as well as the maintenance of tissues. The other associate of the proteins is the manufacture of body enzymes, the antibodies as well as the hormones necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Vitamins is another class of food with the principle responsibility of the regulating the functions of the body.Their requirements in the body are on fairly small doses. The body also requires the provision of minerals for their regulatory as well as structural functions which are also needed in significantly low doses (Leonard 160-90). The other facet of food deals with the treatment of diseases as well as preventing the body from the diseases. Improper feeding habits may be dangerous to the body. It has been observed, for example that, the consumption of the junk foods in uncontrollable quantities is a likely cause of obesity.

This condition is associated with secondary complications in the body of the person, for example, heart diseases. Fat people are most likely to die at an earlier stage as compared to the lean people (Rashid 167-95). Food and nutrition have significantly special influence as far as reproduction and development are concerned. There have been some notable links with regard to nutrition and the variation in the patterns of growth in diverse cultures all over the developed as well as the developing countries.

The growth of a person is a daily phenomenon under the influence of the diet consumed by the person. This is of specific importance in the case of young children since childhood as well as adolescence growth has an impact on the hormonal changes during puberty. The understanding of this fact is of critical importance in the process of identification in line with the suggestions of amicable solutions in as far as the problems associated to adequate growth of the human populations across the globe.It is also important to understand the nutritional and the dietary lifestyles of the ancestors which is a preliquisite in a comprehensive fathom of nutritional adaptation of the modern human beings, their nutritional metabolism, disease prevalence as well as their life history.

The wider eating anthropology and disease evolution has been linked to the understanding of nutritional status of the populations of the ancient human beings (Ulijaszek 101-57). Discussions and conclusionIt is fundamentally important, therefore, that for the sake of the existence of man, the consumption of the right quantity as well as quality of food is taken into consideration. Nutritional characteristics associated with the diet meant for human consumption greatly influences the development as well as the health of a person. The features associated with the human metabolism are subject to evolution dictating what food is consumed, the frequency of the consumption of the food, the means and procedures of the processing as well as the preparation of the food.

All these factors are of great importance with regard to the understanding of the underlying human problems as pertains the issues of malnourishment, chronic diseases and obesity the processes and methods of the acquisition of food, preparation as well as consumption is responsible for shaping of the cultural notions in as far as the kinship, morality, personhood, as well as sharing are concerned. As far as the anthropologists are concerned, great interest is accorded to nutrition as well as food. The variations in the modes of subsistence are responsible to the variations in the diets of the modern human beings.

The cultural practices as well as inequalities in as far as accessing food is concerned also play a major role. These variations are rooted to the differences in the body sizes of different people, their physical fitness, the health as well as the reproduction status of the person. An important link has also been established in as far as the cultural perceptions impacting dietary practices are concerned. Work cited Henry Varakamin, “Anthropometry of Populations of Elderly Living In a Rural Setting. ” Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 33 (2001): 225-363.Koziel, Kolodziej, “Parental education and obesity prevalence. ” European Journal of Epidemiology 16 (2000):1002 -1167. Leonard Ulijaszek, “Energetics, Evolution and Emerging Research Domain.

” American Journal of Human Biology 14 (2002): 154-250. Rashid, Ulijaszek. “Daily energy expenditure in the course of lactation among urban women. ” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 110 (2003): 157-365. Ulijaszek, John. “Interpreting patterns of growth and development among past populations. ” Perspectives in Human Biology 5 (2000) 45-157.