The aim of this learning contract is to enhance my knowledge on the importance of a well balanced, varied and healthy diet among the people with whom I work. I will look at addressing what constitutes a good diet, which nutrients are important to us in terms of promoting health and wellbeing and specific issues, which may be associated with people who have learning disabilities. I will then hopefully come to some conclusions about the importance of promoting and supplying a healthy diet to the people with whom we work. I will conclude with an evaluation of the learning contract.
The nutritional status of people is seen as of particular importance in the field of nursing, not only in the physical sense of health, but as LeMay (1996) stresses also the influence it has on the persons psychological and social wellbeing. Bond (1997) emphasises the fact that significant expertise is needed to assess problems associated with eating and in the provision of appropriate interventions. Sarah Mullally, England’s Chief Nursing Officer said recently: ‘Every nurse is responsible for ensuring that people receive dietary care appropriate to their needs’ (Dinsdale 2000).
To begin lets look at what is needed to provide a good diet. A healthy diet should consist of all five of the following nutrients, carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates are important as they provide the body with energy, there are two sources of carbohydrates, sugars such as in sweets, and starches found in bread, cereals, potatoes, rice and pasta. Fats provide fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K and also essential fatty acids. Fats are the most concentrated form of energy and there are three main types, saturated fats found in animal and dairy products, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which have origins in plants and vegetables. Protein is essential for growth and repair of body tissues, and
Cited: in CLAY, M. (2001) Nutritious, Enjoyable Food in Nursing Homes. Nursing Standard. 15(19), pp.47-53. PERRY, M. (1996) Treating Obesity in People with Learning Disabilities. Nursing Times. 28Aug. 92(35), pp.36-38. ROPER, N. LOGAN, W.W. and TIERNEY, A. J. (1990) The Elements of Nursing Based on a Model of Living. 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. SULLIVAN, A. and TUCKER, R. (1999) Meeting the Nutritional Needs of People with Mental Health Problems. Nursing Standard. 13(47), pp.48-53. WELLER (2000) Bailliere’s Nurses Dictionary. 23rd ed. Mosby