Title: ALAN - HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY-NUTRITION AND BEHAVIOUR
1 NUTRITION AND BEHAVIOR
Alan Sabu Thomas
PG Clinical Psychology
Food is any substance or materials eaten or drunk to provide nutritional support for the body or for pleasure. It usually consists of plant or animal origin that contains essential nutrients such as carbohydrates fats proteins vitamins or minerals and is ingested and assimilated by an organism to produce energy stimulate growth and maintain life.
3 FUNCTIONS OF FOOD
PROTECTION FROM DISEASE
4 COMPONENTS OF FOOD
5 BODY MASS INDEX
Body mass index is used to measure the healthy body size. The body mass index (BMI) or Quetelet index is a heuristic measure of body weight based on a persons weight and height. Though it does not actually measure the percentage of body fat it is used to estimate a healthy body weight based on a persons height assuming an average body composition.
Underweight - from 16.5 to 18.4
Overweight - from 25 to 29.9
Obese Class I - from 30 to 34.9
Obese Class II- from 35 to 39.9
Obese Class III- over 40
6 BEHAVIOURAL DETERMINANTS AND ASPECTS OF EATING
Although infants do not begin life with a choice of foods some of the most obvious reflexes at birth are those associated with eating. Infants learn to associate eating with security and relief from anxiety tension and distress. Later children eat in conformance to cultural and familial standards. These ingrained meanings attached to the roles of food in society suggest reasons that food habits can be changed only with difficulty.
Although the choice of certain foods as opposed to others may greatly affect nutritional status food selection includes multiple environmental cultural genetic social and sensory variables that interact in complex ways. One exception appears to be an innate preference for foods that are sweet. This preference is acquired in early childhood and continues throughout life.
Selection of foods for nutritional or health reasons is a learned behavior. Infants have not been shown to have an inborn ability to select a balanced nutritious diet. Variety of foods available has an important effect on food consumption the more the available foods are varied the more of them people will eat.
Behavior change is a key element in reducing the risk for chronic disease. Eating behaviors are acquired over a lifetime to change them requires alterations in habits that must be continued permanently - beyond any short-term period of intervention.
Obesity is the excessive accumulation of fat in the body. The cause of obesity is quite simple - fat accumulates when more calories are consumed than are expended.
Obesity is often a familial disorder obese parents tend to produce obese offspring. Obesity is more common among women than among men and its prevalence increases with age but decreases among individuals of higher socioeconomic status and greater levels of physical activity.
Once obesity is established food choices and caloric intake are no longer normal and personality differences between obese and normal-weight individuals may be due to results of physiologic changes social discrimination or dieting.
Disparagement of body image affects a larger percentage of obese persons than nonobese persons who characteristically dislike their own bodies. Such feelings are closely associated with self-consciousness and impaired social functioning.
Although weight reduction ought to confer great benefits upon obese persons and be simple to accomplish clinical experience has shown obesity to be remarkably resistant to treatment. The basis of weight reduction is deceptively simple Establish an energy deficit by consuming fewer calories than are expended or expending more calories than are consumed. Most such treatment is carried out under the direction of nonmedical groups and counsellors in programs that pose some hazard and are of uncertain long-term effectiveness.
Treatment measures should be specified and outcomes evaluated treatment should be individualized and treatment effectiveness should be assessed. Behavioral weight control programs usually include group participation at weekly meetings for periods of two months or more and involve techniques of stimulus control eating behavior reward self-monitoring nutrition education and physical activity.
Obese patients who participate in regular peer group meetings following the completion of formal treatment maintain their weight loss better than those who do not participate in such meetings.
8 ANOREXIA NERVOSA
Anorexia nervosa is a condition characterized by extreme weight loss amenorrhoea and a constellation of psychological problems that have been described as the relentless pursuit of thinness
Typical symptoms of the disease include depression and obsessive-compulsive behaviors it is not clear if these psychiatric problems preceded weight loss or occur as a result of semistarvation. Depression is often the first visible sign of anorexia nervosa. Abnormal hormonal patterns characteristic of starvation also
The clinical features of anorexia nervosa are personality characteristics such as rigidity or perfectionism fear of obesity preceding the onset of the disorder and the symptoms of starvation accompanying it. Serious body image disturbance is common manifested by a lack of recognition of the severe emaciation and a belief that one is too fat. Individuals are often preoccupied with food thinking about it much of the time and often engaging in bizarre eating rituals.
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating in which large amounts of food are consumed over a short period of time. These episodes are usually terminated by abdominal pain self-induced vomiting sleep or the appearance of another person on the scene.
Bulimia occurs among persons of normal weight but is present in half the patients with anorexia nervosa. The severity of binge eating ranges from occasional episodes of morbid overeating at a party to the severe form of the disorder bulimia nervosa in which the vomiting or purging follows frequent episodes of binge eating.
There are many similarities between persons with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Both occur primarily in young women although bulimia occurs in slightly older individuals both may relate to the current preoccupation with thinness and dieting.
The symptoms of depression in the majority of bulimic patients and the presence of biologic markers of depression suggest that bulimia may represent a variant of mood disorder. Treatment of bulimia is cognitive-behavioral and pharmacologic. Behavioral treatment include modification of the behavioral program designed for obese patients and a combination of cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented approaches.
Pica is the intentional and compulsive consumption of non-food substances. It occurs worldwide and is common among people of either sex and of all ages and races. Pica is often associated with nutritional deficiencies or toxicities and is of special concern among young children and pregnant women.
Geophagia is the consumption of earth and clay. Amylophagia is the consumption of starch and paste and pagophagia is the eating of ice. The fourth category includes the consumption of ash chalk antacids paint chips plaster wax and other substances.
People appear to be driven to consume these substances by nutritional deficiencies but pica is not necessarily correlated with poor nutritional status. The nutritional hazards most frequently associated with pica are lead poisoning and iron deficiency anaemia .
Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) can occur either after a fast (fasting hypoglycaemia) or several hours after the consumption of a meal (reactive hypoglycaemia). Many individuals have symptoms of weakness confusion and irritability after eating sugars or other carbohydrate foods.
True reactive hypoglycaemia is diagnosed when symptoms of sweating tremor anxiety and irritability occur at the same time as the documented low blood sugar level. Such a diagnosis may indicate the early presence of a disease such as diabetes.
Hyperactivity is a childhood problem often discussed in relation to nutrition. This condition is characterized by problems of inattention excessive motion impulsivity learning disabilities and related problems of conduct.
Food additives especially artificial dyes and colours can cause hyperactivity.
Nutrition science investigates the metabolic and physiological responses of the body to diet. With advances in the fields of molecular biology biochemistry and genetics the study of nutrition is increasingly concerned with metabolism and metabolic pathways the sequences of biochemical steps through which substances in living things change from one form to another.
14 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUTRITION AND BEHAVIOUR
The relationship between nutrition and behavior is two-fold. First nutritional factors have a significant effect on behavior and this is particularly relevant for the prevention and treatment of behavioral problems of dogs and cats. Second the nutritional status and health of animals may be affected by their behavior
The role of mercury other vaccine-related toxins toxic metals toxic chemicals found in mothers milk pharmaceutical drugs vaccines and other sources can all contribute. Intestinal dysbiosis and food allergies also play a significant role in many cases. These children can do extremely well on a nutritional balancing program.
16 CALCIUM MAGNESIUM AND ZINC -THE BIOCHEMICAL SEDATIVES FOR HYPERKINESIS AND MANY LEARNING DISABILITIES
Calcium raises the threshold at which nerves cells fire thus reducing the irritability or sensitivity of the nervous system. A person whose tissue calcium level is low is prone to nervous irritability. Zinc is another anti-stress nutrient. Zinc deficiency is associated with emotional instability. Magnesium is another powerful sedative. Magnesium sulfate is routinely given to patients during heart attacks as a sedative medication.
17 OCD-OBESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER
This is commonly associated with copper imbalance manganese toxicity and perhaps other biochemical imbalances.
As these improve often the symptoms of OCD also improve a lot.
18 BIPOLAR DISORDER
Individuals with bipolar or manic-depressive disorder often have an underlying imbalance of slow oxidation and often copper imbalance. In addition they often have a four highs pattern on a hair test or others indicating extreme stress. The combination of these two traits leads to the common pattern of days of high energy followed by a period of very low energy and depression. This can be corrected in most cases with nutritional balancing science in a relatively short time of months usually and with relatively little difficulty if one is willing to follow the program carefully.
Copper imbalance mercury toxicity manganese toxicity cadmium toxicity and other imbalances are associated with schizophrenias. Most respond beautifully to balancing the body chemistry. Results can be fast but may take longer if a person is far out of balance.
Copper and Schizophrenia. Joan age 18 was a patient in Scottsdale Camelback Hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. She responded poorly to medication and psychotherapy. Tissue mineral testing revealed a copper level of 40 mg about 15 times normal. Joan was placed on a diet and nutritional supplements to reduce tissue copper. Copper imbalance is quite common but goes undiagnosed because the tissue mineral test is not often done.
20 SEIZURES AND EPILEPSY
Nutritional balancing programs have helped many people with epilepsy and seizures even when medical tests have failed to detect an obvious cause for the seizures and even when drug therapy has not worked at all.
21 OTHER TOXIC METALS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Copper is involved in numerous emotional and psychological disorders and random symptoms such as anxiety mind racing mood swings irritability and others. This is because copper is a very bioactive mineral especially in relation to the nervous system. It is associated with stimulation of the biogenic amines epinephrine nor epinephrine and dopamine. It is also involved in serotonin monoamine oxidase (MAO) and other extremely powerful neurotransmitter substances and chemicals that influence nervous activity.
Lead. Thousands of children in the United States are affected by lead poisoning. Lead can cause mental retardation and hyperactivity in children and violent behavior in adults.
Mercury.Mercury accumulates in the brain where it can cause severe behavior changes. Silver amalgam fillings fungicides and paints are sources of mercury.
Aluminum. Hair levels of aluminum are increasing rapidly in the American population. Research links excess aluminum with Alzheimers disease and other dementias. Aluminum is acquired by drinking soda and beer from aluminum cans and from anti-perspirants anti-acids table salt cosmetics salted foods tap water aluminum cookware and perhaps occupational exposure. It can be removed from the body if detected early enough.
Cadmium. The Journal of Learning Disabilities Vol. 18 10 1985 pp. 609-612 reported that among 980 male U.S. Navy recruits entering basic training a significant correlation was found between hair cadmium levels and behavior problems. The three subjects with the highest cadmium level all displayed serious behavior difficulties in recruit training.
23 OTHER NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES AND BEHAVIOUR
B-complex vitamins are essential for proper nervous system functioning. Many people report more energy and less depression when they take thiamine (B1) riboflavin (B2) niacin (B3) and pyridoxine (B6). Pantothenic acid (B5) also helps energy production. Two other members of the B-complex family choline and inositol act as natural tranquilizers. Many other nutrients can affect behavior. L-Taurine and l-tryptophan have a calming effect. L-phenylalanine and l-tyrosine can enhance thyroid activity and improve energy and mood. There are others as well.
24 HYPERGLYCEMIA AND OTHER DISORDERS
Carbohydrate intolerance is a common nutritional disorder that produces severe behavior changes. Diets high in carbohydrates and deficiencies of manganese chromium and other minerals are often involved. Among the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia are confusion irritability anxiety and at times violence. It is quite simple to identify carbohydrate intolerance and correct it with diet and food supplements yet this common malady is often overlooked.
25 FOOD INTOLERANCE AND BEHAVIOR
Any food can cause reactions that affect the nervous system. One possible reason for these reactions is that histamine the chemical that is released in allergic phenomena can be released in the brain causing alterations in brain chemistry.
Brain allergies are often overlooked in the search for reasons for anti-social behavior. One cause of ADHD is a reaction to allergic foods or chemical additives found in childrens foods. Dr. Benjamin Feingold MD pioneered the study of food allergies on childrens behavior. Depression can also be the result of food allergies or allergies to chemicals in food or drinking water.
26 ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS
This is one of the easiest conditions to correct using nutritional balancing science. Common imbalances include low or high and biounavailable calcium and magnesium in the body low zinc high copper high levels of toxic metals and rarely other imbalances.
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