This unit introduces you to nutrition issues in health and social care settings. It looks at nutrients from a scientific perspective, and also explains the role that food plays in social situations. You will investigate the importance of nutrition for different population groups, and relate this to health risks, as well as to factors that influence food intakes. Finally, you will carry out a study of the food intake of one individual, analyse it and prepare a plan to improve that person’s nutritional intake.
For at least 20 years, concerns have been raised about poor nutrition in individuals using
health and social care services. In August 2006 Age Concern published a report entitled
‘Hungry to be Heard: The Scandal of Malnourished People in Hospital’. The report looked
at the numbers of people, particularly older people, who become, or stay, malnourished in
hospital. As a future practitioner, you need to understand why some individuals do not receive
adequate nutrition, and what makes up a healthy diet.
Learning outcomes After completing this unit you should:
1 understand concepts of nutritional health
2 know the characteristics of nutrients
3 understand influences on dietary intake and nutritional health
4 be able to use dietary and other relevant information from an individual to make
recommendations to improve nutritional health.