Community Nutrition

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Unhealthy nutritional patterns impact the health of family members and can potentially lead to health problems such as obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or Type 2 diabetes.
To achieve their optimal health, family members need to have a healthy nutritional intake. Nutrition is defined simply as the nutrients the body needs for the body to function. The effectiveness of body functioning depends on which nutrients a person takes in and whether the nutrients meet the physiological needs of the body. Family members living together in a household have access to the same foods, influencing the nutritional intake of family members, so it is important to address nutrition and nutrition promotion from a family perspective and not limit it to individual family members.
All families experience some form of cost constraints, yet families with limited resources may find it more challenging to access adequate nutritional resources. Typically, low-nutrient, low-density foods—high in carbohydrates—are less expensive than foods with greater nutrient density. Families who cannot afford nutritionally sound, energy-dense food are more likely to be overweight or obese, which can lead to secondary health problems (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, &amp. U.S. Department of Agriculture,www.healthierus.gov).
Cultural factors can also influence the nutritional intake of families, impacting food selection, meal preparation, and portion sizes. In some cultures, specific food items are on the table with every meal, such as tortillas or potatoes. Specific types of meat or vegetables may not be served or may be limited based on cultural or religious views.
The family structure has been changing in America as well as globally. A variety of factors have led to alterations in family structure, including shifting parental roles, single-parent homes, and economic