NUTRITION AND OUR COMMUNITY PCC Global Health July 28, 2022

NUTRITION AND OUR COMMUNITY

NUTRITION AND OUR COMMUNITY

Community nutrition encompasses individual and interpersonal-level interventions that create changes in knowledge, attitudes, behavior and health outcomes among individuals, families or small, targeted groups within a community setting.

The terms “public health,” “community health” and “population health” are often used interchangeably with public health being the broadest term with the longest history of use. Population health is a term that is becoming more common, often with a focus on people with shared characteristics such as race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography and gender.

FACTORS AFFECTING COMMUNITY NUTRITION

There are a host of factors that influence the nutritional needs and nutrition intake of children. These factors can be categorized as being both biological and nonbiological.

Biological factors include

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Growth
  • Disease states
  • Genetic makeup.

Among the nonbiological factors, socio-economic status is the most important. Poverty is one of the major socio-economic causes of variation in nutrient intake, and it also impacts nutrient requirements. Poverty imposes constraints to live in environments that are less food secure and that have greater potential health risks, including environmental contaminants such as lead, and other heavy metals. Parasites, especially hookworms, Schistosomes, malaria, cause blood loss, which increases nutrient needs. These parasites generally are more prevalent in poor environments.

Socio-cultural factors, such as religion, food, and social status, also influence nutritional intake and needs. Religion and culture influence what people understand to be edible foods, what they eat, and as such has an impact on which nutrients are consumed and which nutrients may be needed in higher amounts.

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