and exercise :
What are the consequences of an unbalanced unhealthy
inadequate diet? e.g. diseases caused by poor diet
Doc Brown's GCSE level Biology exam study revision notes: There are various sections to work through, after 1 they can be read and studied in any order.
Sub-index of biology notes on health, diet and exercise
(2) What are the consequences of an unbalanced unhealthy
Overeating of energy rich foods leads to obesity and
ensuing health problems (see
section on obesity)
Receiving insufficient food can cause
starvation or malnutrition.
A person is malnourished if their
diet is not balanced.
Lack of a good healthy diet can cause a
person to be overweight or underweight.
An unbalanced diet may also lead to
deficiency diseases or conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.
You need to eat the right types of
healthy food and in the right amounts/proportions to maintain a healthy
Starvation is when people do not get enough food to
People who live on a poorly balanced diet are
malnourished and malnourishment is common in the poorer developing
countries of the world e.g. in Africa. What you then get are deficiency
Don't confuse malnutrition with
starvation, where there is not enough food of any description to
maintain life - the pictures you see on your TV of very thin people in
Africa, on the edge of life exemplifies this pitiful state.
However, malnourished people can be
overweight as well as thin, from an imbalanced diet e.g. those fat
people who live off too much junk food and excess fat are as
malnourished in some ways just as much as a 'thin' person in a poor
third world country!
The effects of malnutrition do depend
on what is missing from the diet but common symptoms are slow growth in
children (arrested development), weight loss in adults, poor resistance
to disease and infection, fatigue (low physical activity, lack of
Particular deficiency diseases are
caused by lack of specific vitamins or minerals e.g. lack of
vitamin C causes scurvy which leads to problems with gums, skin and
joints. Organ and other tissue is not efficiently repaired and
ulceration is common.
Lack of iron can lead to anaemia, lack of
oxygenated haemoglobin in the blood - you become weak and lacking in
energy as respiration is less efficient.
Not getting enough protein in your diet causes
kwashiorkor, an illness caused by severe protein deficiency, often
seen in people of developing countries e.g. in Africa.
Lack of calcium in a diet affects bones, which
become soft and poorly developed in young children. Calcium based
minerals are an important component in the structure of the teeth and
Summary of learning objectives and key words or phrases about the consequences
of an unbalanced - unhealthy diet and the diseases it can cause
Know what is meant by an unbalanced- unhealthy diet
and what it lacks.
Know what is meant by malnutrition and starvation
and their consequences.
Know that the consequences of an unbalanced
unhealthy inadequate diet can be serious e.g. lack of iron causing
anaemia/anemia, lack of protein causing the disease kwashiorkor and
lack of calcium affecting teeth and bone growth.
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