Nutrition is the process of nourishing or being nourished, that is, the process of supplying what is necessary to sustain life. The nutrients required to sustain life and promote health and wellbeing are: Carbohydrate, Fat, Fibre, Protein, Water, Vitamins and minerals It is well accepted that nutrition is strongly linked to the major causes of ill health in Western countries. Many diseases common in Australia are "lifestyle" diseases related to what we choose to eat. They include: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, eating disorders, being overweight and obesity.
These diseases have been shown to be linked to eating:
- too much fat (especially saturated fat), salt, sticky sugary food and alcohol
- and not enough dietary fibre, complex carbohydrates, calcium and iron and folate
Many factors influence food choices, but a major area of concern is that of "body image". Australian adolescents, particularly females, incorrectly see themselves as underweight or overweight. Incorrect concerns about body image can lead to the use of dangerous diets and weight-loss methods, low self-esteem and eating disorders.
[Source: Nutrition: the inside story, 2003, Home Economics Institute of Australia Inc., Macquarie ACT.]
The Australian Government’s Department of Health maintains a website eatforhealth. The site includes detailed information about Australia’s Dietary Guidelines. The Guide aims to promote healthy eating habits throughout life, which will assist in reducing the risk of health problems in later life, such as heart disease, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
Use the Library catalogue to quickly locate the resources you need to begin your research:
On our shelves:
- The Diet dilemma explained by Rosemary Stanton. This is a book for people who are tired of gimmicks and who want to know what normal weight is and how it can be achieved.
- The Diet drama by Nancy Redd. This is book to help girls understand diets and how to "love their body". It is packed with interesting facts, sample food and exercise plans.
- The Science of good food: the ultimate reference on how cooking works by David Joachim and Andrew Schloss. The A-Z format of this book helps to clearly explain the physical and chemical transformations that govern all food preparation and cooking. It offers thousands of tips and includes more than 175 fascinating food facts.
- System 3: the complete guide to fitness and wellbeing by Sharon Natoli and Tony Boutagy. Provides tips and advice from many sports stars, including Layne Beachley and Kieren Perkins.
Library Subject Guides
The following guides may also help your research in this area:
- Hannah, Valerie, 2014, 'How to teach...healthy eating, The Guardian, 7 April
- Zofia, Niemtus, 2016, 'How to teach ... body image', The Guardian, 20 June
Audio visual resources
On our shelves:
- Globesity: fat's new frontier
- Is sugar the new fat?
- Sugar coated
- Sugar crash
- Why are we getting so fat?
- World's best diet
From the Guardian
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- World Book Encyclopedia
- U.X.L. Encyclopedia of Diseases and Disorders
- The Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Family Health
Don't forget you will need your user name and password to use these resources.
It was noted in the 2012 Australian Year Book that 'many chronic diseases can be prevented, delayed or improved by addressing lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet, insufficient exercise or obesity.' The Year Book also shows that not many Australians actually meet the recommended dietary guidelines, which is unfortunately reflected in the rise of some of the diet-related diseases listed below.
On our shelves:
Read the personal narratives of some people who have dealt with and overcome eating disorders.
- BBC: Good Food
- Better Health Channel: Body image and diets
- Better Health Channel: Body mass index (BMI)
- Better Health Channel: Healthy eating for adolescent girls
- CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet
- Nutrition Australia: Healthy eating and adolescents
- Australian Government. Department of Health and Aging. Information and links on Anorexia nervosa
- Better Health Channel. Anorexia Nervosa
- Garvan Institute: Anorexia Nervosa
- Better Health Channel: Binge eating disorder