Nutrition and health--an individual responsibility.
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Nutrition and health--an individual responsibility.

  • 1987 Jul-Aug

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 102(4 Suppl):29-33
Filetype[PDF-1.08 MB]



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    Public Health Rep
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    The report of the Public Health Service Task Force on Women's Health Issues identifies five social factors which affect health and also apply to nutrition: cultural and social values, which are at the heart of issues of body size; economic status, which is associated inversely with nutrient per food dollar expenditures; labor force participation, where working mothers make less money than fathers; family, household structure, social supports, and health, where the single parent has limited resources; and interactions with a health care system that frequently identifies the woman as the victim of the problem when actually the system is the source of the problem. Fourteen of the 40 conditions described in the report mention nutrient changes or weight maintenance. Twelve other conditions have been added to the list. Four categories of women, based on their roles, are used to discuss major nutrition issues. The youth role focuses on body image and preoccupation with weight control. The childbearer role emphasizes the demand and burden of pregnancy because the outcome of pregnancy is linked with many behaviors during pregnancy. The menopausal woman role is that of the older woman and the health consequence of life-long dietary habits and the frequent "victim" position to which she is relegated when using the health care system. The gatekeeper role sends messages to the marketplace through demand and directs purchases for the home. Choosing from 13,000 items makes it possible to regularly choose foods which are inadequate in meeting daily vitamin and mineral needs and can lead to use and abuse of supplements. The final solution rests within the individual and her active involvement in seeking health care and carrying out recommendations for her nutrition and health.
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