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Health consequences of your personal behavior - Essay Example

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HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF PERSONAL BEHAVIOR SUBMITTED BY: SUBMITTED TO: INSTITUTE: 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Target Health Behavior (Healthy Eating) Any behavior of a person, aiming at attaining a better health is a health behavior. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), inappropriate eating habits and physical inactivity are the most common causes of poor health…
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HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF PERSONAL BEHAVIOR SUBMITTED BY: SUBMITTED INSTITUTE: INTRODUCTION 1 Target Health Behavior (Healthy Eating) Any behavior of a person, aiming at attaining a better health is a health behavior. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), inappropriate eating habits and physical inactivity are the most common causes of poor health. There are many definitions of healthy eating. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), calories consumed per day should be managed to balance out weight and healthy eating patterns must be developed to ensure appropriate nourishment of the body. In one study, Falk & colleagues (2001) found, that people’s eating habits depend on their perceptions of healthy food to quite an extent. At least seven different health themes emerged from the study on basis of which adults classify food as healthy or unhealthy. Therefore, there are many views about what in healthy eating and what is not. In another study, Martinez and colleagues (1997) attempted to explain people’s perceptions of healthy eating. They found that majority of adults believe that eating more fruits and vegetables and less fat intake is healthy eating. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and milk form the basis of a nourishing diet (Hoeger, 2009). A well balanced diet therefore comprises of all the essential nutrients namely carbohydrate, protein, vitamin, fats and minerals along with an optimum intake of water. 1.2 Existing Eating Habits My existing food habits are not healthy at all. I do not eat anything for breakfast, then eat crisps and take soft drinks at brunch; lunch is usually not home made with a lot of fried fast food in it. My existing diet includes a late and heavy dinner, ice cream, alcohol, a lot of mayonnaise and cheese and no milk. The aim of this behavioral modification plan is to change my eating behavior for the better and move towards a healthy eating style. 2. HEALTH RELATED CONSEQUENCES OF EATING HABITS A balanced diet is needed for both, physical and mental health. Even small elements, which people may ignore; have a role in the normal functioning of the body. Most vitamins act as absorbing aids in the body and are essential to breakdown other macro nutrients. A good, nourishing and balanced diet can help in management of various diseases specially diabetes and blood pressure (Hayes & Laudan, 2009) According to Murphy (2005), two items on the global list of unhealthy behaviors are food related namely obesity and malnutrition. Risk factors like these can cause many chronic diseases which lead to death. According to the Dietary Guidelines for American, all bodily needs can and must be catered for via food instead of any sort of medicine. Healthy eating helps a person live a happier life since healthy people are able to enjoy their lives. 3. BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION PLAN According to Hoeger (2009), our environment has a great impact on what we eat. Behavioral modification becomes easier in a facilitative environment. For implementing a behavior modification plan, two prerequisites are as follows. Enough information and knowledge should be available on the target behavior and the individual must be very clear of what changes are needed; secondly, the target behavior must be valued by the individual. 3.1 Aim and Strategy: The purpose of this behavior modification plan is to modify my eating habits for the better. It is expected that I will end up with at least 8 out of total 12 checks on the behavior modification plan. Underlying strategy is that I break up the main goals into sub goals, and reinforce myself with personally meaningful rewards. 3.2 Duration and Measurement: The behavior modification plan that will follow is of a month’s duration and it will be evaluated on basis of the behavioral checklist. 3.3 Material Needed: A behavioral plan checklist, grocery items which are healthy. 3.4 Step Wise Behavior Modification Plan (With reinforcement) Week I Eat a bowl of cereal in milk for breakfast. Instead of crisps for brunch, eat any fruit. Avoid alcohol and soft drinks all week. Reinforcement: Go for dinner at your favorite place with friends at weekend. Week II Avoid fried food as much as possible. Add a bowl of fresh vegetable salad in lunch. Eat with family/ friends at least thrice weekly. Reinforcement: Buy a new set of speakers for music system. Week III Have a supper with carbohydrate and protein, reduce the size of dinner. Replace soft drinks with fresh juices. Do not keep chocolates/ ice cream / marsh mellow / candy at home. Reinforcement: Eat your favorite dessert at weekend. Week IV Do not eat any heavy food after 7 pm. Replace coffee with milk. Do not eat between meals. Reinforcement: Watch a movie with friends. 3.5 Evaluation: To evaluate the impact of this plan, I will count the number of checks marked on this plan sheet at the conclusion of the month. Even if half of the goals are done, it would mean that I have started to improve my eating habits and have taken the first steps in direction of healthy eating. REFERENCES Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (2010). US Department of Agriculture & US Department of Health and Human Services. (Online). Available at: Retrieved on: September 10th, 2011. Falk, L.W; Sobal, J; Bisogni, C.A; Connors, M & Devine, C.M. (2001). Health education and behavior, Vol. 28 (4): pp. 425-439. Hayes, D & Laudan, R. (2009). Food and Nutrition. New York: Marshall Cavendish, MTM Publishers. Hoeger, W.K & Hoeger, S.A. (2009). Lifetime Fitness and wellness: A personalized program. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Murphy, E.M. (2005). Promoting Healthy behavior. Population reference bureau. (Online). Available at: Retrieved on: September 10th, 2011. Martinez, J.A; Margetts, B.M; Saba, A; Holm, L; Kearney, M & Moles, A. (1997). Definitions of healthy eating. European Journal of clinical nutrition, Vol. 51 (9): pp. 641. Read More
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