The Essential Role of Nutrition in Overall Wellbeing

People with healthy eating habits live longer and are less likely to suffer from serious health issues, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. For those with chronic conditions, a nutritious diet can help manage the illness and prevent complications. Nutrition is an essential part of health and development. Better nutrition is linked to improved infant, child, and mother health, a stronger immune system, safer pregnancy and delivery, a lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity.

Adequate nutrition helps maintain energy levels and protects against many age-related diseases and illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. But how can you maintain an eating routine and diet that keeps you and your family healthy while fitting your lifestyle and budget? Overnutrition is an epidemic in the United States and is known to be a risk factor for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis), and cancer. Programs that don't prioritize nutrition are less likely to have a lasting impact on healthcare costs or employee well-being.Despite the abundance of evidence demonstrating the impact of food choices on health and wellbeing, nutrition remains an underserved component of most wellness and participation programs. Malnutrition is not uncommon in the United States, affecting many subpopulations including older people, people with certain diseases, and people living in poverty.

Here's what we've learned about the key factors for keeping employees healthy and productive and about the particular importance of nutrition. Malnutrition is characterized by a lack of nutrients and an insufficient energy supply, while overnutrition is characterized by an excessive intake of nutrients and energy. For many, the word “malnutrition” brings to mind a child from a third world country with a swollen belly and thin arms and legs. Some medical causes of malnutrition include cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, diseases or conditions that cause chronic pain, psychiatric illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, or the side effects of medications. When looking for a program or weight-loss initiative focused on exercise, it's important to consider poor nutrition choices that contribute to obesity. Therefore, it is vital to strengthen bones through adequate nutrition during youth as this cannot be done later in life. The development, economic, social, and medical impacts of the global burden of malnutrition are serious and long-lasting for individuals and their families, communities, and countries.

Healing is facilitated by adequate nutrition1 while malnutrition inhibits and complicates this vital process. Malnutrition refers to a person who does not receive adequate nutrition but does not distinguish between the consequences of an excess of nutrients or a lack of nutrients; both impair overall health. Good nutrition means getting enough (but not too much) macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) so that the body can stay healthy, grow properly, and function effectively.