The medical community today is witnessing an era where Health systems connect to the forefront of a throbbing global health scene. As the challenges of medical care become more complex and interconnected, there is a demand for a coordinated response to integrated health with the intrinsic challenges of a system characterized by inequities in access and health coverage. Within these challenges, we can talk about that highly acclaimed global health, and nutrition is a subject that does not escape this framework.
The World Nutrition Day is celebrated every May 28. This day was originally established by the Spanish Federation of Nutrition, Food and Dietetics (FESNAD) to teach the population to establish correct eating habits and thus improve the health and nutrition of the body. But what does it mean to have a healthy eating habit?
This is not only related to the fact of preparing well or choosing properly the foods we eat but also giving us the time, spamedical tips for healthier eatingce and the pleasure of enjoying meals every day. It is important to remember that learning to develop good eating habits is essential for meals to produce the expected benefits in our body.
Today, globalization and accelerated lifestyles to which we submit daily have resulted in living influenced by an increasingly overwhelming and hostile pace. The workload, the career with its demands and intrinsic sacrifices, the family, housework, and stress do not allow us to eat healthily. Most of the time we do not know how harmful some foods turn out to be for our body, we get carried away by fast foods, precooked foods and we are deceived with light products, without knowing that there are much more appropriate options, as well as strategies to reach more food healthy.
An adequate diet is one that covers:
- The energy requirements such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which are related to basal metabolic expenditure, physical activity expenditure, and diet-induced expenditure.
- The needs of non-energy micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
- The correct hydration based on the consumption of drinks, especially water.
- the sufficient ingestion of dietary fiber.
During this day, the efforts are focused on setting guidelines to start leading to a healthy one, especially improving nutrition and food. We recognize that the presence of correct eating habits is essential within the pillars of good health and for general well-being. Knowing this is vital all year, but it should be noted in commemoration of World Nutrition Day.
I have thought it necessary to emphasize the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy life. And this has been reflected by the World Health Organization, through statements that extend to various stages of life, such as that malnutrition during pregnancy affects the fetus and contributes to pregnancy with complications or that nutrition is essential to prevent anemia in adolescents. Even so, as indicated, the lack of vitamins and minerals as a result of improper feeding remains prevalent throughout the world.
Many times we hear about the importance of leading a better and healthy lifestyle, but we don’t know how to do it, nor do we know the reasons to achieve it.
To reach a healthier diet, it is necessary to take health into account in an integral way, since it will enjoy a fuller existence.
Nutrition and health
It is important to consume daily carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water, these nutrients will tend to build and maintain a healthy body function.
According to the World Health Organization, more than hunger, the real challenge today is the deficiency of essentials, which does not allow the body to ensure growth and maintain its vital functions.
There are multiple diseases related or caused by poor diet either in quantity, excess or defect, or poor quality: anemia and atherosclerosis, some types of cancer, diabetes mellitus, obesity, arterial hypertension, avitaminosis, malnutrition, endemic goiter, Bulimia, and anorexia nervosa.
In our current society, to the rhythm of life that we lead, sedentary lifestyle, little personal time and for affections, an unhealthy diet, where fast food abounds, refined flours, products rich in fat and sodium, makes our health affected for many chronic noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension, with all its complications and cardiovascular risks.
Certain diseases that affect the small intestine can cause improper absorption of nutrients, such as undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. Nutrition must be harmonious, healthy and balanced.
Poor nutrition also causes oral damage, because the moment the body stops receiving the nutrients necessary for tissue renewal, the mouth becomes more susceptible to infections.
Excess carbohydrates, starches, and sugars produce plaque acids that adhere to tooth enamel, thus causing their destruction.
The role of the medical student
After analyzing the panorama of the latent relationship between Health and Nutrition, it must be born from us as medical students, to recognize that we play a fundamental role in health education and promotion, this is to spread healthy practices, ensure the continuity of these tips, an educated society that focuses its efforts on shaping the hygienic dietary conditions that often result in public health problems, will be able to move forward and gradually influence the prevalence rates of such diseases.
Our activities should continue to focus not only on our academic training as such, but on empowering and motivating medical students to actively promote healthy eating, so that nutrition is relevant through promotion, capacity building, resources and tools that foster that awareness of supporting students in carrying out activities and projects, creating a society aware of the difference in the change of a lifestyle, and the role of an adequate energy contribution in our daily lives.
We, as medical students, represent future leaders of current health and, as such, we represent a perfect field to develop future competent leaders who will be involved in finding solutions to public health problems, not only at the time of training academically but also later in life. To initiate the change we must be equipped with the right tools and knowledge to successfully direct our fellow medical students, our communities and the population in general, with peer education being a crucial point to achieve these established objectives.
We, as part of future health professions, are a great component when it comes to global health coverage. If we want to achieve that universal reach starting with our country, we must be aware of the part we play inherently in the process and how we can do better, so our choices and actions as health professions will be progressively reflected, as we continue celebrating one, 10 or 100 World Nutrition Days plus.