Good nutrition is the basis for overall growth and health. Many common problems can be prevented or alleviated by a healthy diet and regular exercise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an unhealthy diet (especially when paired with physical inactivity) can negatively impact overall health. The WHO reports that diets low in vegetables and fruit contribute to about 19 percent of gastrointestinal cancer, 31 percent of coronary heart disease and 11 percent of strokes. In addition, roughly 2.6 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.
The positive effects from a good nutrition
Maintaining an active lifestyle and adhering to a nutritious diet can help stave off heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. It can also prevent some types of cancer. A 2014 UCLA study actually drew an association between a junk food diet and feelings of laziness. Alternatively, periods of fasting for several days at a time have actually been linked to improved immune system function. Prolonged fasting would be four to five days per month for two to three months (under the supervision of a doctor). Regular exercise can improve mental health as well. Physical activity has been shown to improve mood, weight and overall health.
According to the WHO, unhealthy diets among children represent a serious worldwide problem. In fact, approximately 20 million children under the age of 5 are overweight. This is particularly troubling since childhood obesity has been inked to premature death, disability and many other serious health concerns. It is estimated that 15.9 million children in the United States do not have access to consistent nutritious food. What’s more is that a 2008 study published by Health Affairs found that obesity in America costs the nation approximately $147 billion per year in medical expenditures. On the other end of the spectrum, about one in six Americans struggles with hunger.