Health benefits of fruit and veg consumption
- Contain vitamins, folic acid, antioxidants and fibre- essential to healthy body.
- May also offer protection against diseases such as forms of cancer (eg of the bowel, digestive system), heart disease and stroke.
- Mixed results but should be good for you.
Oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol has been shown to be important in the development of fatty deposits in the arteries; an antioxidant is a chemical property (polyphenol) or some substance thought to inhibit the process of oxidation.
Recommended fruit and vegetable intake
In aus- 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of veg a day.
What do young australians know about fruit and veg?
- Found young adults have limited recall and understanding of dietary guidelines for fruit and veg.
- Unable to report correct serving sizes and which fruit/veg can be classified as part of the categories.
- May partially explain low consumption levels.
Why do people not eat sufficient fruit and vegetables?
- Lack of knowledge and skills in preparing and cooking such items.
- Length of preparation time.
- Convenience of less healthy alternatives.
- Internal preferences
- Social reinforcement
- Reward/mood enhancement
- Believed current consumption already sufficient.
- Food preferences have biological basis however also largely determined by learned experiences, cultural background and gender expectations.
- Socialisation through family often set child's future preferences for cooking methods, products, tastes, textures and food components.
- Also cost and availability.
Get kids to eat more fruit and veg by taste exposure, peer-modelling, rewards based intervention.
Do vitamins protect us from disease?
- Lack of vitamins A, C and E, beta carotene and folic acid in person's diet plays a role in blood vessel changes that potentially contribute to heart disease.
- Low beta-carotene been linked with development of cancer.
- The associations are attributed to antioxidant properties.
- Oxidation has been linked with cognitive decline and progression of dementia
- Findings are inconclusive.
- Evidence that beta-carotene supplements associated with increase lung cancer risk and subsequent death in smokers.
- Research which found associations tended to have poor research designs.
- Eg. Association with reduced breast cancer with vitamin A failed to control for other aspects of behaviour such as exercise.
- Evidence of reduced colon cancer among folic acid supplements, base on retrospective study.
- However smokers should take beta-carotene.
- No evidence vitamins are bad for you but also inconclusive evidence about benefits.
- Eating food with the vitamins is the key compared to taking supplements.
- Vitamin C and E when taken together shown to have potential halting of cognitive decline.
- Preliminary research than needs to be explored further.
The physical health benefits of exercise
- Generally seen as health-protective, reducing risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity, with some forms of cancer including colorectal and breast cancer.
- WHO identifies physical inactivity as 4th leading risk factor for global mortality.
Protective against development of osteoporosis, a disease characterised by reduction in bone density due to calcium loss
Strengthens heart muscles and increases cardiac and respiratory efficiency, reduces blood pressure and have lesser tendency to accumulate body fat.
Psychological benefits of exercise
- Elevated mood among those suffering from depression (clinical population)
- Decreased risk of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem or body image among non clinical populations.
- Exercise-induced release of the body's own natural opiates in to bloodstream, which produce 'natural high' and act as a painkiller.
- Stimulation of the release of catecholamines such as noradrenaline and adrenaline which counter any stress response and enhance mood.
- Muscle relaxation, which reduces feelings of tension.
- Exercise beyond certain level may be detrimental to mood.
- Moderate regular exercise increases wellbeing through weight control, coping with stress and benefits from those experiencing cognitive decline as a result of ageing.
- In children and adolescents, social, cognitive (concentration) and coping benefits.
The negative consequences of exercise
Can have excessive reliance on exercise to the extent that exercise becomes a compulsion and produce dependence.
Recommendations to exercise
- Suggest at least 30 min of moderate intensity exercise on at least 5 days of each week.
- Aim of such guidelines to reduce blood pressure, incidence of diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease and obesity as well as general well being.
- Some research show for females aged over 45, even 20-60min of purposeful walking a week reduced heart risk.
Levels of exercise
- Boys exercise more at younger age.
- Cultural differences with exercise.
- Socioeconomic status also affects.
- Evidence suggests individually tailored programs more effective.
- High sedentary lifestyle in aboriginal population.
Why do people exercise?
- If we wish to increase the activity levels of children then child-friendly communities will need to be created (eg. cycle paths, safe walkways)
- Reasons for exercising:
- Physical fitness, lose weight, appearance, main or enhance health status, stress reduction, social activity.
- Choosing not to exercise does not reflect absence of above desires.
- Barriers include: lack of time, cost, access, embarrassment, lack of self-belief.
- Barriers for children and adolescents: preference for indoor activities, low energy levels, time constraints social factors, lack of motivation
- Influence of personal beliefs on outcomes, control and barriers.
- Also evidence of childhood modelling.
- Two broad purposes of health screening:
- 1. detection of early asymptomatic sign of disease in order to treat.
- Identification of risk factors for illness to enable behaviour change.
Screening for disease detection
- Based on biomedical model, which states that by identifying abnormalities in cell or organ functioning, treatments can be implemented prior to the onset or advancement of disease symptoms.
- Secondary prevention in that a specific screening test is offered to individuals at high to moderate risk.
- Eg. screening for breast cancer, cervical cancer (pap smear), bone density screening.
Screening for risk factors
- Aim is to identify individual's personal level of risk for future illness (and in genetic testing, also for their offspring) in order to provide info and advice on how to minimise further health risks.
- Eg. screening for cardiovascular risk, eye tests to screen for diabetes, glaucoma, myopia, pre-natal genetic testing, antenatal screening.
Criteria for establishing screening programs
- Condition should be an important health problem ie. prevalent and/or serious
- There should be recognisable early stage to the condition.
- Treatment at an early stage should have clear benefits to individual compared to treatment later.
- A suitable test with good sensitivity and specificity.
- The test should be considered acceptable by general population.
- Adequate facilities for diagnosis and treatment should be in place.
- Issues of screening frequency and follow ups should be agreed
- The cost should be considered in relation to benefit
- Any particular subgroups to be targeted should be identified.
Factors associated with screening behaviour
- Lower levels of education and income
- Age (younger women tend not to attend risk-factor screening)
- Lack of knowledge about condition and purpose of screening
- Embarrassment about procedure involved
- Fear that something bad will be detected
- Fear of pain/discomfort during procedure