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What is the importance of healthy eating? Depending on where you live, you might start your day with eating food first before doing an activity. Food is the most important thing in our lives besides water. Moreover, healthy eating means eating a variety of food that gives you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrate, fat, water, vitamin, and minerals. By refer the food pyramid, we can know the amount of nutrient should we take for a day.
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Figure 1: healthy living pyramid, Nutrition Australia.
Nutrition is important for everyone. Other than nutrition, metabolism also related with healthy eating. Metabolism is an energy that used to burn fat or calories you take everyday. Each of us is having different types of metabolism, which is high metabolism or low metabolism. For people who are in high metabolism, they do not have worry about the amount of calories that they are taking. This is because, when we are high metabolism, the energy will burn the calories in our body with fast. However, for person that having low metabolism, they must worried about the total of calories that they are taking, if it not burn fast it will become fat in our body. When combined with being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight, eating well is an excellent way to help your body stay strong and healthy. However, many people do not care about the types, variety, and amounts of food they are taking every day. Nowadays, population of people eating unhealthy food is more than people who are eating healthy food. The population is significantly different and increase from year to year. This statement proved by the summary of Consumer Food Service Market Research 2011 in Malaysia. Recovering from the economic crisis in 2008-2009, Malaysians spent more on eating out in 2011. More customers were willing to pay for an expensive food, in full-service restaurants, café or fast food outlets. Customers did not mind paying for an irregular treat for themselves or their family members. Operators offered food in unusual parts of the day, food preparation to consumers who do not mind spending as a group (Market Research on Food Service, 2011). Based on this research, we can know that many people in this state do not care too much about the healthy of food they are taking every day. Some of them are willing to buy a fast food and junk food for their family, without thinking of the importance of health or the side effect will their family face in future.
First, there is a lot of unhealthy food available at our country market. As we can see, unhealthy eating can subsist categorize by eating fast food, junk food or even ready to prepared food. This unhealthy eating trend is like mushrooms after rain in any place. For example, McDonald's, KFC's, Pizza Hut's, Kenny Roger's, and many more brand are become top choices of people who are in hungry. Other than fast food restaurant, junk food, can food or snacks may also include in unhealthy food category.
Figure 2: fast food logos in our country.
Unhealthy foods exist when many of people or consumers out there, demand on some thing on food that can be prepared in a short time. This is why many food restaurants exist today. Besides, eating unhealthy food style can happen when many people choose fast food as a main course when they are in hurry. This style also still largely applied to community within key cities such as Kuala Lumpur, the Klang Valley area, Johor Bahru and main city in this country. Some of them have argued that, fast food is more convenience for people in hectic lives. Even though, the global trend of an increasing number of consumers ordering take away food, most channels in Malaysia saw the opposite more when people were dining out instead of order take away. A combination of a few factors led to this phenomenon. Busier work schedules meant that consumers had less incentive to cook at home. Thus, they opted to eat out instead. Young people tend to spend more on eating out. Those who enter the workforce gain financial independence, and are willing to spend more on food at slightly higher priced on full service restaurants or cafeteria. The great quantity of consumer food service outlets, which open early and have late, closing hours in city centers, meant that consumers could choose different outlets in which to eat at special times of the day. However, people should aware when taking fast food. This is because, fast food or even junk food contents many preservative ingredient inside it. Such as, MSG, more salt content, more Sugar content, food additives and fat content. The preservative used to maintain the shelf life of the product. So, either it is live to eat or eat to live? We are decided what we want to eat today. These trends were incorrect because many people do not know what types of food that they are taking. The nutrient inside fast food is not enough for human nutrition. People should take nutrient based on what they need and not eating food based on what they want. The situation makes people enjoy their eating life style without thinking the effect on their future.
Furthermore, life today is not like how it was before. Along time ago, people ate foods that were pasture with balanced quantity of nutrient value. Not with chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors which are known as Fast foods. Year ago, woman are not work outside, but they only just stay at home and prepared a food to their family. Today, many women choose to work outside to help their husband support their family finance. Based on this situation, many teenagers or children learn to eat outside when their parents do not have enough time to prepare a food for them. Therefore, this is how these trends may be happen. A large amount of people who eat junk food more frequently do not know it is bad affect on their body, which can be avoid if they use more healthy alternative Hence, there are many reasons to try to make healthier choices. Eating junk food as a primary method of sustenance will lead to diseases and illness because your body is being deprive from its needed nutrients. While, by eating well you are strengthening your body and giving it proper nutrients to defend it in a time of infection we are supposedly not get to postpone hunger because our stomach is always worked to process food into our bodies in order to produce energy and build our physical.
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Figure 3: processing of food in stomach
In our life, health is the most important thing that we must too stress. Eating also related to our body, when we are eating well, the rate of our health also well balance. That is how healthy eating play role in our lives. Furthermore, disease likes obesity, diabetic, hypertension, cancer and other chronic diseases are highly related to fast food and junk food. It has more calories on average meal than healthy food do, leading to greater weight gain and illness. Several of people having a problem that they do not want to face it, which is gain weight. Especially woman, they do not want their body out of shape, which can be issue when they meet up with their friends. It is important to watch carefully what you eat, particularly at fast food restaurant or either taking a junk food while you are in hurry. Therefore, knowing the nutritional content of food that we are taking is a very important. Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain, lean meat and fish, provides a balanced amount of nutrients. They are by definition nutrient rich with vitamins, minerals and fiber that benefit for our body. Eating a balance of foods that contain full nutrients such as, carbohydrate, protein and fat every day will help keep your blood glucose to normal. We are also need to try to balance the need for nutrition and calories each day. The healthy eating is required in order to build and repair cells and body tissues.
In addition, both unhealthful and healthy foods are reassembling in preparation time and they have a like rate. Nevertheless, we must observe it on nutrient content on food that we are taking. For junk food, it contains less or sometimes no proteins, vitamins and fiber. This is different from healthy food, that is contains high proteins, high vitamins contain and fiber. Healthy food is very important to have good life and better communication for many reasons. First, for those who eat healthy food, they have capability to do hard work. Second, if a person eats foodstuff that contain vitamins, proteins, iron and other important nutrients, he/she will be free from diseases, and he can enjoy their lives. Moreover, everyone definitely likes to meet those who have a good health, so a person who is healthy, he/she have friends. For example, a person who looks weak and does not live healthy lifestyle will feel lonely, and they will not happy. Therefore, if you want good looking, clever mind and make friends, you should eat healthy. A good mind can be developing if people eat healthy food, and this necessary for children. Besides having a good life and communication for people at any age, healthy food is the perfect kind of food for children in many ways. It is necessary for proper growth and development during childhood. Parent can offer a wide variety of nutrients to make sure that their kids get what they need to be equal with every physical level of their life. Otherwise, children who are healthy eating with balanced food are less likely to suffer from harmful diseases such as over fitness or obesity.
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Figure 5: different between healthy children and obesity children.
In Malaysia, there is a general survey carried out with the specific purpose of decide the prevalence of overweight and obesity amongst children and adolescents. However, several less significant scale studies have been report (J., 1996). The reported an occurrence of 8% overweight between primary schoolchildren in Selangor (Ismail & Tan, 1998). The report show that an obesity commonness of 6.6% among 7-year-olds while 13.8% prevalence was children who are in 10-year-olds (Fatimah et al., 2001). About 8.7% fatness in children residing in Kuala Lumpur as compared to 5.7% in Kota Bahru. In a recent survey of 11,500 schoolchildren aged among 6-12 years from four regions in Peninsular Malaysia, revealed a commonness of 6% obesity in both sexes with small differences between urban and rural children (Ismail et al. 2003). Among 5,995 kids aged 7 to 10 years in all primary schools in Kuala Lumpur reported a commonness of overweight of 9.7% among boys and 7.1% among girls,(WHO 1995). In marked gap, the other reported a prevalence of less than 2% among 3,000 rural children (Khor & Tee, 1997). It should be note, however, that all the above studies were report using different cut-offs / criterion for significant overweight. The end result not strictly similar a more recent survey carried out among young people of both sexes aged 12 to 17 years in four region of Peninsular Malaysia and the Miri region of Sarawak report 19% of overweight using the,(WHO, 1995) BMI-for-age cut-off of above 85th percentile (Poh et al. 2004).
Finally, as a conclusion, good nutrition is essential for good health and eating nutrition food can help to prevent against common ailments, as well as more live threatening illness and diseases. Medical scientists now believe that a third of all cancers and most cases of heart disease are related to poor diet balance. There are many advantages of healthy eating compare to eating fast food or junk food. As a consumer, we must decide which types of food we need to take. Therefore, we are recommended refer to the food pyramid when we are setting up our meals. Make sure that food that we are taking enough of nutrients contain like vitamin, fiber, carbohydrate, water and others. Even we are in hurry, we must remember that fast food might contain lot of food additives, preservative and more contents of salt and sugar, which is can make our healthy level decrease. We also may become sick and not happier than our life before. So, watch out when taking unhealthy food than healthy food. Parent also play an important role for their children, they must being observe when they are children taking a food. For a better way, parent should cook for their children if they have time. Children may also involve in getting diseases such as obesity and gain weight. It is important for parents to watch carefully what your children eat for proper growth through their childhood lifestyle. Other than that, parent should not teach their children eat fast food when they are outing. Lastly, why did not we choose eat fruits such as banana or an apple instead of eating and drinking can drink or potato crisp. For that reason, in our life we must always remember that healthy eating is important in our life. This fact related with what an Indian-born American physician and writer say, 'Life is like a tree, and its root is consciousness. Therefore, once we tend the root, the tree as a whole will be healthy'. (Deepak Chopra, 1977)
Figure 6: Decision on choose of healthy or unhealthy food.