Justification and Evidence for Nutrition Promotion in Fruits and Vegetables in Our Diet Term Paper

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Justification and Evidence for Nutrition Promotion in Fruits and Vegetables in our diet 'Eat your fruits and vegetables' is one of the original recommendations that we get for a healthy diet. This is a good argument. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help individuals fight heart disease and stroke, keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control, avoid certain kinds of cancer, prevent a painful intestinal ailment known as diverticulitis, and remain on caution against cataract and macular degeneration, which are two common factors leading to vision loss. You should not consider potatoes as they should be regarded as a starch instead as a vegetable, then the average American eats a total of just about three servings of fruits and vegetables during the course of a day. The recent dietary guidelines mention that individuals should take five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day, with a variation based on one's caloric intake. For a person who uses about 2,000 calories a day in order to maintain weight and health, the requirement translates into that of nine servings, or about 41/2 cups of vegetables a day. Most fruits and vegetables will contribute to this list, but green leafy vegetables like Swiss chard, lettuce, mustard greens and spinach; cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, and kale, Brussels sprouts; and citrus fruits like that of lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit along with their juices make the most significant contributions. (Fruits and vegetables)


The main organization being discussed here is the Strategic Inter-Governmental Nutrition Alliance -- SIGNAL and that is a sub-committee of the National Public Health Partnership, which was formed to coordinate and combine activity to better the nutritional health of Australians. SIGNAL has representatives or nominees from the Australian Department of Health and Ageing; all of the State/Territory Government Health Departments; the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare -- AIHW; Food Standards Australia New Zealand -- FSANZ; the National Health and Medical Research Council; and the New Zealand Ministry of Health who have an observer status. The committee also has four independent members who are experts in nutrition and public health. It is known that a healthy diet is crucial and central to the maintenance of good health and well being. Good nutrition helps almost every part of our health, from our birth till old age. Some health problems are related to poor nutrition, like heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, and these place great burden on people, their families and society at large. The latest National Nutrition Survey in 1995 has revealed that several arenas of food consumption in Australia do not correspond to nutrition guidelines. This is also leading to some diet linked problems within the community, like overweight and obesity increasing at greater levels. (What is SIGNAL)

SIGNAL has already tried to promote its activities aimed at enhancing the consumption of various types of fruits and vegetables, even though there are certain food service interventions that have been concentrated specifically on that of the fruits and vegetables. The special need for these interventions evolves as a result of expert opinion and it also arises due to evidence emerging from those interventions which are being done to encourage fat reduction in the diet and promote healthy eating in more general terms. There are definitely two main kinds of interventions which have been undertaken. The first pertains to that of nutrition education in a general way and promoting of strategies which are being evolved to alter knowledge, attitudes and the behaviors of the customers. The second level of efforts is focused on the organizational and environmental level of strategies which are being aimed at altering the nature of the food that is being supplied at various outlets. Fruits, vegetable and that of salad promotion has been tried by means of price reductions of about 50% and this has been considered to create enhancements in purchases of around 2 to 4 times during the duration of the intervention.

When the level of measurement continues, certain amount of purchases is returned to original levels of 3 weeks after the period of intervention. There are certain elements of potential barriers and dangers and the first of these is really difficult and consumes a considerable amount of time because of the nature being involved in forming an environment for bringing about changes. That intends involving the workers as well as management in bringing about changes. The second difficulty relates to indecisions regarding strategies and these are particularly regarding environmental and organizational strategies and initiatives. The third set pertains to the development of suitable and necessary staff training which can be difficult. The fourth pertains to that of resistance by the management as well as by the staff and that takes place when the program is being perceived as being costly as well as time consuming. The last was in relation to the demand of staff time and that of the resources. This problem was not being found in all of the cases and teachers were usually more than willing and able to conduct proper delivery of the right type of nutrition. (An Intervention Portfolio to Promote Fruit and Vegetable Consumption) Thus one can state that experiments in Australia have seen problems evolving as a result of execution difficulties.

Twenty years ago, a set of probable concepts and principles relating to health promotion was sent for discussion by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and that was 1984. Those concepts and principles formed the basis for the Ottawa Charter after two years and have been the basis for the many health promotion innovations. These have included many projects, like Healthy Cities, Health Promoting Schools, Health Promoting Hospitals and the recent Investment for Health approach to implement health promotion in the European Region. In the past few years, certain European countries like Switzerland, Austria, and Estonia have been forming Health Promotion Foundations. (Health promotion development in Europe: achievements and challenges)

These foundations have created funding for organizations and NGOs in order to develop programs of health promotion that deal with particular matters which are related to lifestyle and behavioral factors. But, in a number of other countries, health promotion role has been declined to a mere service function -- to be purchased, and not planned as a collective good which is important for human development. Political, social, economic, cultural, behavioral, environmental and biological factors are all interconnected, and all of them play a significant part in deciding and maintaining the health of a particular population. There is increasing awareness and recognition that the methods in which society encourages the economy, controls and regulates its employment, offers education, helps its members during economic and other related difficulties, forms strategies to deal with poverty, crime and substance abuse, and promotes equal economic and social development which is sustainable; all need to have a major influence on health. (Health promotion development in Europe: achievements and challenges) However, there is no particular impact of the Ottawa Charter and the realization of the importance which is attached to that of fruits and vegetables in their plans.

In the United States, some positive action had been taken by the United States Department of Agriculture in a thrifty food plan. This is a fundamental part of the U.S. food guidance system and the aim is to provide guidance as to how a healthful and minimum cost meal plan can be taken up by individuals who have a limited budget, or are under the food stamp plan. This particular plane was released in 1999. This plan recommends the use of "6 small apples, 11 medium bananas, 1 melon, 26 oranges, 4 ounces of cabbage, 20 ounces of carrots, 3 ounces of green pepper, 4 ounces of lettuce leaf, 2 lbs and 8 ounces of onions and 7 ounces of zucchini during a week by a family of four." At the same time, the recommendation also mentions for the "use of 11 lbs and 14 ounces of potatoes." There is also the recommendation for consuming a huge amount of canned fruits and vegetables which are though not as effective as an element of vitamins and ultimately that of health. (The thrifty Food Plan, 1999) While the recommendation will certainly enable to persuade individuals to make use of certain amount of fruits and vegetables, it could have been made more effective by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables.

On the other hand there are other efforts in U.S. To increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables directly. A new publication "The Dietary Guidelines for Americans" offers science based advice for promotion of health and for reduction of risk for important diseases by means of diet and increased physical activity. The emphasis here again is on diseases and it is stated that the important factors of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. are linked to poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. The advice is to consume a considerable required amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within the energy needs of the…[continue]

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