Nutrition-Related Risk Factors


Numerous factors influence the health of individuals and may entail those operating at different levels, like genetic make-up or health behaviors, while others work on a wider society aspect, like vaccination programs or the presence of health amenities. These are the factors that are the direct determinants of health (Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012). Such determinants can impact people’s health positively or adversely. The current paper aims to highlight various modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors connected with nutrition and having a negative effect on the human organism.

Risk Factor

The World Health Organization (2016) defines a risk factor as any characteristic, attribute, or exposure of a person that intensifies the probability of developing an ailment or injury. Basically, a risk factor represents anything that enhances an individual’s prospects for developing an ailment. The risk factor can act separately but more often the constituents of each other, boosting and enforcing one another. For example, cigarette smoking, age, a family account of particular cancers, the exposure to distinct chemicals, radiations, and specific genetic variations all pose risk factors for lung cancer. Similarly, obesity represents a risk factor for a number of health issues, including coronary ailments, locomotor system problems and diabetes.


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Modifiable Risk Factors

Modifiable risk factors are the ones that can be altered by human action, while the non-modifiable ones cannot be changed. Nonetheless, numerous non-modifiable factors may be managed and their impact can be notably reduced by instituting relevant changes to one’s lifestyle. Modifiable risk factors largely include nutrition transition (resulting in either malnutrition or obesity), physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking abuse (International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2015). Luckily, the impact of numerous risk factors can be controlled through lifestyle and nutritional changes. It is worth noting that one cannot alter or modify the risk factor itself but only its effect.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Non-modifiable risk factors comprise the entities which cannot be influenced, such as age, family history of genetic ailments, and ethnic, that is, demographic backgrounds. With age, for instance, the older an individual, the higher are the chances of developing cardiac ischemic complications. As for family history diseases, the most common maladies running in the family are heart-related problems, asthma, cancer and diabetes. Referring to their ethnic background, various nationalities may have their peculiar inclinations to maladies. To illustrate, the people of South Asia dwelling in the United Kingdom are more likely to have coronary heart ailments in comparison to the rest of the United Kingdom population. Nonetheless, these can be managed, cured or modified (World Heart Federation, 2016). Similarly, Africans from the Caribbean regions are more prone to the risk of having high blood pressure.

Nutrition- Related Risk Factors

The consumption of a balanced diet is essential for the general wellbeing and good health. Nourishment offers bodies the vitamins, essential fats, proteins, and minerals to survive, operate, and grow appropriately. The broad variety of various foods is necessary for the production of the right nutrients satisfying the daily needs of a human body. The leading illnesses, which may eventually lead to disability or even death, and in which nutrition and diet play a crucial part, encompass strokes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, and nutritional anemias among others (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2014).

There exist several modifiable nutrition-related risk factors, each of which is related to the emergence of serious diseases or the disruption of wellbeing conditions. These entail the metabolic syndrome, which, just like diabetes, represents a cluster housing a set of risk factors. These are typically associated with excessive abdominal weight, lipid abnormalities, and insulin resistance. Obesity also represents a nutrition-related factor and is connected to the enhanced body mass index. It is the result of eating too many fats and carbohydrates without the appropriate balance of vitamins and fiber. Diabetes type 2, being a disease itself, represents another nutrition-related risk factor involving a scope of other affecting issues. According to the International Diabetes Foundation (2015), numerous risk factors are associated with type 2 diabetes and include overweight, unhealthy dieting, alcohol abuse, deprivation diets in the course of pregnancy, and diminished glucose acceptance. Conferring to Diabetes Australia (2015), this risk factor is a progressive state in which the body becomes resistant to standard insulin effects and eventually fails to create sufficient insulin in the pancreas. The unfavorable variations in physical activity and diet associated with fast growth of the tempo of life, urbanization, and technological advancements have resulted in the increased cases of individuals developing diabetes.

Focusing on the metabolic syndrome provoked by nutrition violations, it can be noted that it represents a risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney diseases, as well as type 2 diabetes. The individuals having the syndrome are more prone to cardiovascular ailments or even strokes and very likely to develop diabetes type 2. Obesity, caused by inordinate overeating, manifests a risk factor for myocardial infarction which is a compulsive progression to a compromise in the blood resource of such severity that enough oxygen cannot be contracted even after a long rest (Huma, Tariq, Amin, & Mahmood, 2012).

The risk factor such as diabetes type 2 is associated with many illnesses. Among them cardiovascular ailments represent the highest percentage of all diabetic cases. However, usually, a nutritious and balanced diet accompanied by a more active lifestyle and insulin control measures are basically everything which is necessary for proper health.

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Conclusively, this paper aimed at defining a risk factor as an element that causes or gives negative results. In many instances, individuals can change or avert the progression of such risk factors. The risk factors with such capability are referred to as modifiable ones and include obesity and metabolic syndrome, increased blood cholesterol, alcohol abuse and smoking, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, and diabetes among others. Nonetheless, some elements have been described as being unchangeable or non-modifiable and entail family account of hereditary ailments, ethnic disposition, and age among others. The risks connected with nutrition are all modifiable risk factors and are, as aforementioned, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes type 2, as a factor of factors, and obesity. They are blamed for promoting such diseases as cardiovascular problems, diabetes itself, and myocardial infarction. Therefore, it is recommended for individuals to improve their lifestyles, especially in terms of nutrition, to reduce the effects of such factors for ensuring better health and wellbeing.

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