GCSE level School biology notes: Diet, exercise and reducing risk from some non-communicable diseases

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KEEPING HEALTHY - Diet and Exercise

Balanced nutritious food intake and doing some regular aerobics to help reduce the risk from some non-communicable diseases, obesity indexes, effects of diet deficiencies

This section helps you with questions like ...

 What constitutes a healthy balanced diet?  Why do we need protein in our diet?

Why do we need both fats and carbohydrates in our diet?  What is metabolism?

Why is regular exercise good for? What are our energy requirements and why?


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(1) What is a healthy balanced diet?

(2) What are the consequences of an unbalanced, unhealthy or inadequate diet?

(3) Metabolism, body mass and what are our energy requirement?, note on inherited factors

(4 Aerobic exercise reduces risk from some non-communicable diseases

(5) Obesity and measures of obesity - body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio

(6) Measuring the calorific value of foods e.g. theoretical energy released on metabolising oil or fat

Learning objectives for this section on diet and exercise

  • Appreciate that a combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise is needed to help keep the body healthy.

  • Be aware that our bodies provide a good environment for many microbes to live and multiply at our expense and can make us ill once they are inside our body.

  • Our bodies need to be capable of stopping most microbes from getting in and dealing with any microbes which do get in.

  • You are expected to be able to ...

    • ... evaluate information about the effect of food on health,

    • evaluate information about the effect of lifestyle on development of disease,

    • and analyse and evaluate claims made by slimming programmes, and slimming products.

      • There are lots of slimming products on the market eg from special diets ('Atkins Diet'), diet pills, low calorie milkshakes, soups, ready made meals etc. but how do you know which is likely to be effective?

        • BUT has the diet been properly scientifically tested and evaluated?

        • Have different research groups agreed on the effectiveness or otherwise of a particular diet strategy?

        • Is the only information on the diet, that supplied by the manufacturer?, so no independent review of the diet's effects on body weight, just the non-verified company's opinion!

        • In the end for many people the best thing is to take in less calories and eat a smaller better balanced nutritious diet AND take more exercise.

      • In all cases the necessary data and information will be provided in the exam paper.

      • Even a study of food labels is useful eg what energy does a food provide, what is the protein, carbohydrate/sugar, fat, fibre, minerals (salt, calcium, iodine) content etc.

    • What are the health implications for the content of the food in a meal OR what is the meal deficient in? ie are you having a good balanced diet meal?

    • Note that knowledge and understanding of ...

    • See also Respiration - aerobic and anaerobic  gcse biology revision notes

    • Seeing computer simulations to model

    • Appreciate the effects of having a balanced diet and regular exercise, as opposed to an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

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See also Respiration - aerobic and anaerobic

and Keeping healthy - non-communicable diseases - risk factors for e.g. CVD, cancers, obesity, diabetes

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Hormone systems - Introduction to the endocrine system - adrenaline & thyroxine hormones

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Respiration - aerobic and anaerobic in plants and animals

Keeping healthy - communicable diseases - pathogen infections

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Keeping healthy - defence against pathogens, infectious diseases, vaccination, drugs, monoclonal antibodies

See also Culturing microorganisms like bacteria - testing antibiotics/antiseptics

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