NUTRITION RELATED PROBLEMS AMONG ADULTS
Being a productive age group, adequate nutrition is important for adults to maintain their productivity. Inadequate nutrition, besides leading to various nutrient related problems also results in subsequent physical and psychological disturbances leading to absenteeism from work, poor concentration, lethargy and emotional distress. All these affect not only the economy of the family but superimposes the same on other family members and the viscious cycle continues.
The viscious cycle caused by malnutrition is given in Fig..
The various nutrient related problems that commonly occur among adults are as follows:
Anaemia is a common nutritional problem especially among Indian women. Women in the reproductive age group are the most affected. The causes of anaemia may be
Inadequate diet in quality and quantity, deficient in folate, Iron, B Complex vitamins and vitamin C.
1. Excessive menstruation
3. Lack of awareness of food values
4. Poor environmental hygiene and sanitation
This can occur at any age and in either sex as long as the person is under positive energy balance. Besides genetic inheritance and physical inactivity, faulty eating habits contributes to obesity. These include nibbling between meals, eating more, eating fast with less chewing and housewives eating leftovers.
The concept of a balanced nutritious diet should be introduced even in the work place starting with the industrial canteens where more number of high calorie snack items are sold. These can be substituted with nutritious snacks prepared using green leafy vegetables and other vegetables and with limited frying.
3. Diabetes Mellitus
Type II diabetes is more prevalent among adults. Obese individuals are identified to be at risk. Malnutrition related diabetes occurs in young people between 15 to 30 years of age who are lean and undernourished. Acute stress more common among working women and executives is another cause.
Adults with Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18.5 have reduced capacity for sustaining heavy work and therefore decreased productivity.
5. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Those in the high socioeconomic group who adapt a sedentary life style and have a high intake of saturated fatty acids tend to develop CHD. The incidence is high in obese individuals.