Nutrition is the study of nutrients and their role in health and disease.


  • a healthy diet
  • nutrients
  • nutrition and poor health
  • nutritional counseling

A Healthy Diet

Eating well is one of the great pleasures of life and has myriad benefits for the health of body and mind. A healthy diet is one that:

Healthy cooking and reading food labels are important skills, but the costs of healthy eating can be a significant barrier to a good diet.


The Mediterranean diet appears more helpful than a low-fat diet in preventing cardiovascular disease (Estruch et al, 2013).




Macronutrients are important sources of calories (except water) and provide building blocks for many biological processes. Micronutrients are essential substances that facilitate various metabolic activities, and whose deficiencies can produce serious conditions and diseases.





















Nutrition and Poor Health

A poor diet will eventually lead to significant health conditions and dieases. Malnutrition is the clinical manifestation of insufficiency in energy or one or more required dietary components.

Specific conditions and diseases in which diet is important include:


Total parenteral nurition (TPN) is used when oral feeds are not possible or advisable.

Nutritional Counseling


Nutritional counseling and recommendations are best given by dietitians, but there is much that other health care providers have to offer as well. Sound knowledge of the fundamentals of nutrition needs to be accompanied by effective means of taking a dietary history, measuring BMI/WC, and offering behavioural interventions.





Health care student nutrition education, including theoretical and practical skills, equips emerging generations of health care professionals to support healthy choices in patients with risk factors for diet-related chronic diseases.



Resources and References


Estruch R et al. 2013. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med. 368(14):1279-90.


World Bank - Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean - Toolkit on How to protect and Promote the Nutrition of Mothers and Children