* Socio- cultural
* Social policy
* Health factors
* Dietary habits
Food is essential for life, our dietary intake is influenced by many different factors this includes:
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There are several different conditions which can influence the foods that we eat. For example Celiac Disease, Celiac disease is a disorder caused by a sensitivity to gluten. When the gluten reaches the small intestine, it activates the immune system to attack the intestine lining. Destroying the finger like projections called Villi which are involved in the absorption of the nutrients.
This is caused by a lack of lactose. Milk and milk products are the only source of lactose in the diet. When people who are lactose intolerant take in milk and milk products they can experience indigestion, stomach cramps, wind and diarrhoea. They must then adjust their daily intake and or change their diet all together, meaning taking out the dairy all together.
An allergic reaction to food usually happens quickly and the symptoms include itching and swelling of the mouth, lips, skin, vomiting and diarrhoea, dizziness, coughing and streaming of the eyes and nose. Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock is a whole body allergic reaction and can be fatal. People who have food allergies must avoid any food to which they are allergic and replace it with alternatives that make sure they don’t out on essential nutrients.
Some people have restricted movement for feeding, for example they have a physical disability such as a tremor or a spasticity, a weak grip, joint pain which makes it difficult for them to eat and drink independently or they are unable to sit up.
Dietary habits can be affected by lots of things such as meal patterns, snacking, personal tastes and food availability. Meal patterns refer to the way the person takes the food. Some people like to stick to the traditional three meals a day. Some households may have to eat separately due to parents not being home due to work commitments so the children will either make themselves food or miss dinner time. These days people have busy families where tea is rushed and may not be up to the nutritional standard it should be so the families are not getting the correct nutrients they require. There have been increased levels of ‘grazing’ and this is a pattern of eating between meals and not having a meal and eating other foods which should not maybe be seen as a meal.
Snacking between means is normal behaviour in the UK these days. If the snack is a piece of fruit or something with nutritional value than there is no problem but it the snack consists of being high in fat and sugar than this can be seen as a problem which if continued can lead to obesity.
Personal tastes can affect the diet as some people may not feel that eating meat is right, so they will not get the correct nutrients they require. Not everyone will like all foods that are offered to them. Some people have a very fussy apatite and may not like many foods at all. People who do not eat meat or do not get the correct nutrients must replace these foods with foods of an equal nutritional value.
Another influence on the diet is the foods that are available to you. Everyone at some point has had to eat something they wouldn’t usually have chosen because that was all that was in the house at that moment in time. It is very hard for people of an older age and those who are unable to shop for themselves as they become dependent on others to provide them with the foods they need, sometimes they will not get the correct nutrients they need and maybe they will not even have a meal that they enjoy. It is important that healthy foods are there and available to everyone and should be easy to get hold of.
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