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Definitions

Aggregated definitions of terms used on Fruitarian's Network. A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term - a word, a phrase, or a set of other symbols.

Overnutrition, a type of malnutrition, is emerging with rates of obesity and related chronic diseases associated with urbanisation, aging populations, technological development and globalisation of food supplies and industry. Billions of dollars are spent annually by the food industry to promote the consumption of highly refined, high-calorie foods with little or no nutritional value. 

At least 35 million overweight children are living in developing countries and 8 million in developed countries. Children are increasingly exposed to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods which tend to be cheaper than healthy foods. General imbalance in energy intake compared to physical activity levels is driving the obesity epidemic. In industrialised countries, child obesity risk is associated with lower household income, women with less education, and single parent households.

Obesity is increasingly prevalent among adolescent girls and women, as access to a greater quantity of inexpensive, tasty, and convenient foods increases. 

Taxation on high-calorie, low-nutrition foods can play a significant role in reducing the consumption of such products. Population-wide weight-control campaigns that raise awareness among medical staff, policy-makers and the public at large can also help to reduce obesity. Particularly important is the promotion of health literacy. Additional measures include restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy foods and sugary drinks to children, and controls on the use of misleading health and nutrition claims; mandatory front-of-pack food labelling helps consumers to identify healthier options. 

Protein deficiency rarely occurs as an isolated condition. It usually accompanies a deficiency of dietary energy and other nutrients resulting from insufficient food intake.

Deficiency of this severity is very rare in the United States, except as a consequence of pathologic conditions.

The symptoms are most commonly seen in deprived children in poor countries:

  • stunting,
  • poor musculature,
  • edema,
  • thin and fragile hair,
  • skin lesions
  • hormonal imbalances.

Edema and loss of muscle mass and hair are the prominent signs in adults. 

Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid.

Provided by diet, phenylalanine can be converted into another amino acid, tyrosine, in the body. Tyrosine is used to synthesize two key neurotransmitters that promote alertness: dopamine and norepinephrine. 

It has 3 forms:

  • D-phenylalanine;
  • L-phenylalanine - most common, the form in which phenylalanine is incorporated into the body’s proteins;
  • DL-phenylalanine.

An essential amino acid, or indispensable amino acid, is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized by the organism, and must be supplied in diet. 

The 9 amino acids humans cannot synthesize (F V T W M L I K H):

  • phenylalanine
  • valine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • methionine
  • leucine
  • isoleucine
  • lysine
  • histidine

Animal and plant proteins are made up of about 20 common amino acids.

Synthesis of 6 other amino acids - conditionally essential - can be limited under special conditions (R C G Q P Y)arginine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, proline, and tyrosine.

Dispensable amino acids can be synthesized in the human body, 5 (A D N E S): alanine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid and serine .

Protein plays a crucial role in almost all biological processes and amino acids are the building blocks of it.

A large proportion of our cells, muscles and tissue is made up of amino acids - 20% Of the human body is made up of protein. 

~500 Amino acids are known, 20 appear in the genetic code, 9 are essential for humans because they cannot be created from other compounds by the human body, and must be taken from food.

Amino acids carry out many important bodily functions: 

  • give cells their structure;
  • play a key role in the transport and the storage of nutrients;
  • have an influence on the function of organs, glands, tendons and arteries;
  • essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue; 
  • important removal of waste deposits.

Your comments, suggestions, critique, and ideas:
Carl Sagan

A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeeling toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.

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