Henry Desmond

Candidate Number: 7091

Discuss the concept of Energy Balance [25 marks] The term Energy Balance is used lots when people talk about the concept of a balanced diet and other terms to do with having a healthy life. Energy Balance means the amount of energy in the body when expenditure and intake are taken into consideration. The Energy intake of a person is measured by the energy taken in by food and the energy expenditure of a person is measure from the activity that they do and their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). A persons Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy needed by a person to complete basic processes required for life e.g. breathing, heartbeat and maintaining body temperature. When the intake and expenditure of a person are counted together then a person’s Energy balance is worked out. A person will have a normal energy balance when their intake equals their expenditure, this means there will be no weight gain or loss. Negative energy balance is when a person’s Energy intake is lower than their expenditure, this will lead to weight loss, on the opposite side is a Positive energy balance, this is when a person’s expenditure is lower than their intake, this means that they will gain weight. There are many factors in someone’s life which will affect an individual’s energy requirements. Some factors are for example, Rate of growth and age, Body size and gender, activity level, pregnancy, illness and disease, body composition, hormone imbalance and environmental conditions. Each of these factors can change the amount of energy needed in different ways, for example the rate of growth and age can affect the energy needed e.g. a child needs more energy in its first 3 months of life than at any other point in its life, this is because they are growing rapidly in these first 3 months and uses about 32% of their energy intakes. When there is an energy imbalance in a person it will affect that person. For example a person’s body weight will change with either a negative or positive balance. A positive imbalance can lead to a gain in weight; this is because the energy that cannot be used will be stored. It will be stored in the body as Glucose, this is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, however only a small amount can be stored in this way and the majority will be stored as fat under the skin. This can then cause obesity, this is when an excess of fat is stored within the body, it is normally measure that someone who is obese will have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of above 30. There are guidelines for the amount of energy that a person should have within their diet and from where this energy should come from. Within a normal diet with no alcohol the break-up of energy should be as follows; 35% fat (10% saturated, 6% polyunsaturated, 12% monounsaturated and 2% Trans fatty acids), 15 % protein, 50% carbohydrates (39% complex carbs and 11% NMES, Non Milk Extrinsic Sugars). However with Alcohol these percentages then change and all become lower because alcohol can give a high amount of energy to a person in drunk in excess. These are the average guideline amounts for a person. It is from these that the Energy Balance is then worked out per person.

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