Aging of the body begins already from the moment of conception and continues until death. This process is based on biochemical changes that lead to appropriate changes in the body cells or to their partial decay.
The French physician and biologist Alexis Carrel expressed an opinion that theoretically the body cells are immortal if they are provided with good living conditions, if harmful metabolic products are timely removed from them and if they are provided with adequate nutrition.
Unfortunately, people still do not know how to do this. However, a person can and must follow the known and tested rules of rational nutrition.
In the elderly, certain changes in secretion of saliva, gastric juice and secretion of the pancreas occur in the digestive organs, and quantity of enzymes contained in them decreases. Digestion of carbohydrates and proteins is not subject to special changes. However, process of fat digestion is quite different.
These changes in the digestive tract do not cause pronounced abnormalities in the very process of digestion. Painful phenomena observed often in old age lead to eating disorders of the body tissues. For example, lack of blood circulation causes oxygen decrease in the body tissues, resulting in difficult withdrawal of metabolic products. Decrease in throughput of villi in the gastrointestinal tract leads to reduction in absorption and transfer of nutrients obtained from food to the bloodstream.
In older people, the need for proteins is the same as in young ones, and even slightly larger, given reduction of their digestibility. It is very important to include vitamins (especially B, C and PP) in the diet, taking into account decrease in the body ability to accumulate them in sufficient quantity in older age and thereby limiting their reserve. The same applies to mineral salts, especially calcium, so important for bones, digestibility of which is often reduced by influence of such diseases as reduced acidity of gastric juice, and various intestinal diseases. Reduced acidity also complicates absorption of iron and may cause anemia, which is much more severe in elderly comparing to young ones. Low blood sugar is also poorly tolerated by elderly people. In circulatory failure, frequent use of small amount of carbohydrates, such as a spoon of honey, some fruits or juice is recommended.
How to avoid obesity?
World statistics show that obese people live less, grow old faster, as well as more often suffer from diabetes and diseases of the digestive, respiratory and circulatory organs.
Obesity affects not only the state of human health. It makes the figure heavy, reduces coordination and ease of movement. Herewith, statistics show that obesity is the result of disease states (for example, hormonal disorders) only in 5 percent of cases. In the remaining 95 percent of cases, obesity occurs due to improper nutrition. Even the so-called hereditary obesity is most often the result of a habit of a certain diet, which passes from generation to generation.
*Excessive nutrition of people begins already in early childhood with overfeeding of infants. Loving mothers and grandmothers stretch the children stomachs, who eventually get used to excessively large portions of food.
Why are people getting fatter?
Obesity is an increase in body weight due to accumulation of adipose tissue. Increased body weight by itself does not mean obesity. This can be the result of muscles development, for example in athletes, in people performing hard physical work or in young ones during a period of active growth.
Obesity is most often caused by high-calorie nutrition that exceeds the body’s needs. Certainly, this does not mean that every obese person is a heavy eater. Overweight can be a consequence of changes in living conditions – transition to a less active lifestyle, requiring longer sitting during work, violation of the rest regime or termination of sports. For example, athletes gain weight very quickly after finishing regular sports activities, because they keep the usual diet, while the body’s needs are sharply reduced.
What is considered to be obese?
Obese people are those whose overweight occurs due to accumulation of adipose tissue.
Even the big body weight in the presence of thin subcutaneous fat layer still does not mean obesity.
At the average, a person should weigh as many kilograms as will be in the remainder if to take away 100 from his growth in centimeters. For example, a person whose height is 160 centimeters should weigh 60 kilograms.
Naturally, this method of determination is not accurate, since such factors as constitutional features and muscular development affect the person’s body weight.