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Nutrition, Energy Balance and Weight Management

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1. Explain how energy balance is related to body weight.

2. List three main components of energy expenditure.

3. Explain what is meant by a healthy body weight.

4. List five health problems that are associated with excess body fat.

5. What changes in the environment in the last 20 years have contributed to an increase in cases of obesity? List the 3 most reliable components to successful weight management.

6. Describe aerobic exercise. Name one aerobic exercise.

7. Describe anaerobic exercise. Why would someone be interested in anaerobic exercise? Why?

8. Which is more efficient, aerobic or anaerobic metabolism?

9. How does lactic acid build up and what is its effect on our bodies?

10. How do the nutritional needs of an athlete compare to the nutritional needs of the general population?

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Interesting set of questions! My understanding is that these questions are for review. I also provided links for further reading. Let's take a closer look.


1. Explain how energy balance is related to body weight.

Most of us understand that body weight depends upon the energy balance equation; the amount of energy you put into your body (food calories) versus the amount of energy you expend (activity). This is the relationship between energy balance and body weight.

Source: http://www.primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/library/weight/calsburned.htm.

2. List three main components of energy expenditure.

Energy expenditure has three main components:
a. Energy expended at rest (resting metabolic rate)
b. Energy expended at rest over and above resting expenditure (thermogenesis)
c. Energy expended in activity and exercise (physical activity)

Source: http://www.afpafitness.com/articles/?page_id=611.

3. Explain what is meant by a healthy body weight.

How to define healthy body weight is difficult. It is difficult to come up with a one size fit all definition that applies to everyone due to genetics factors and personal habit. For instance, muscle has a higher density factor than fat, thus athletes tend to weight more. But there are some measurable indexes we can leverage as reference point to body weight.

· One of them is the amount of weight gained since mid-twenties. For majority of people, metabolism started to slow down during mid to late twenties, which implies we might be absorbing more calories than we are used to. Studies have indicated the amount of weight put on since mid-twenties have proportional effect on the chances of developing heart attack, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, gallstones, snoring, and sleeping disorder.

· Another metric often use by the medical community to gauge healthy weight is BMI (Body Mass Index), with the ideal recommended BMI 18.5-25. This site http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/index.htm provides a simple to use BMI calculator. Below is a breakdown of the obesity level base on the BMI score.

Example: Recommended BMI Chart
Underweight: BMI less than 18.5
Ideal: BMI 18.5-25
Overweight: BMI 25-30
Obese - should lose weight: BMI 30-40
Very obese - lose weight now: BMI greater than 40

· Another index to gauge healthy body weight is to measure the amount of fat tissue around the waist. Research has indicated that abdominal fat is more of a health hazard then fat accumulated in other area of the body. This type of fat has directed relation with the development of cardiovascular problem.

Source: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/4970/1/Healthy-Body-Weight.html

4. List five health problems that are associated with excess body fat.

Excess body fat is linked to major physical threats like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, cancer, and diabetes. (Three out of four Americans die of either heart disease or cancer each year; according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, approximately 80 percent of those deaths are associated with life-style factors, including inactivity.)
For example, obese people (the most common definition of obesity is more than 25 percent body fat for men and more than 32 percent for women.)also tend to have high cholesterol levels, making them more prone to arteriosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries by deposits of plaque. This becomes life threatening when blood vessels become so narrow or blocked the vital organs like the brain, heart or kidneys are deprived of blood. Additionally, the narrowing of the blood vessels forces the heart to pump harder, and blood pressure rises. High blood pressure itself poses several health risks, including heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke. About 25 percent of all heart and blood vessel problems are associated with obesity

Source: http://www.afpafitness.com/articles/?page_id=611

5. What changes in the environment in the last 20 years have contributed to an increase in cases of obesity?

The changes in our environment that contribute to obesity is such things as:

· Fast pace life style, which often leads to unhealthy food choices (e.g., fast food versus healthy meal) and increased negative emotions due to ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution explores aspects of nutrition, energy balance and weight management e.g. aerobic exercise. References are provided.

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