Fats are soluble compounds in organic solvents, with limited solubility in water;
triglycerides comprise the greater part of natural fats. Each triglyceride molecule
consists of three fatty acids esterified to one molecule of glycerol. The basic component
of all lipids is the fatty acid chain, with different chain lengths and different
degrees of saturation.
Although this review is concerned with how opinions about the dietary energy
needs of children and adolescents have changed during recent years and the way
these relate to lifestyle modifications within the industrial world and among the more
affluent parts of the population of Third World countries, it is instructive to look at
what has been happening to family diets as a whole.
The feeding of carbohydrates in human life starts in all mammals with simple sugars
such as disaccharides, e.g., lactose and some oligosaccharides present in mammalian
Peak bone mass can be defined as the amount of bony tissue present at the end
of skeletal maturation (1). This biological variable is an important determinant of
osteoporotic fracture risk because the mass of bony tissue present at any time during
adult life is simply the difference between the amount achieved at maturity and that
lost with aging (2,3)-
Essential trace elements must be present in the organism at a certain concentration
in order to maintain life and growth. Thus, every essential trace element has its
special range of tissue concentrations that allow adequate maintenance of physiologic
and biochemical functions.
The revolution in children's lifestyles and dietary habits which has occurred over
the last 25 years can be largely attributed to changes in the family environment and
in the social environment in general.
Nutrition plays a key role during adolescence, which is a period of tremendous
changes. From a somatic point of view, it is a period of fast growth, often with high
physical activity, with sexual maturation, including menstrual losses and sometimes
pregnancy for girls, requiring an important amount of energy and nutrients.
The gastrointestinal tract is uniquely adapted to facilitate the digestion and absorption
of essential nutrients, the diffusion of water, and the prevention of penetration
by potential pathogens.
The health benefits conferred by the early, habitual inclusion of fiber in the diet
extend beyond childhood and adolescence to affect the future health of the adult.
Free radicals and antioxidants are widely discussed in clinical and nutritional reports
and even in the lay press. The assumption is that free radicals are bad and
Years ago, children were drinking milk in Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon countries
whereas in Latin countries, they were drinking either plain water or water mixed
with a small amount of wine, cider, or syrup.
Today there are more deaths from cardiovascular diseases in the developing world than in
the developed countries. After the age of 5, there are as many deaths from cardiovascular
diseases as from infectious and parasitic diseases put together (1).
The popularity of vegetarianism has increased greatly over the past few years
because of concern about the environment, animal welfare, and healthy eating. From
a historical point of view, the pursuit of vegetarianism for reasons of physical health
is a recent phenomenon.
Eating disorders occur mainly in female adolescents. The principal disorders are
anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and overeating and obesity, the latter being the
The development of sports and sports medicine is one of the most striking trends
of our society (1). Increasingly, people practicing sports are children or teenagers
who have the greatest risk of being fed upon, and suffering from, unbalanced diets
Hypertension, a pathophysiologic expression common to a large group of diseases,
is neither organ-specific nor identified with a specific disease. Almost 50 million
adult Americans are reported to be hypertensive.
Tropical populations constitute the majority of the "developing world," which was
basically colonial in nature; it is mostly politically unstable, corrupt, and immature;
it is fundamentally poor (economically disadvantaged); it is principally agricultural;
it has unfavorable trade balances; and it is plagued by huge differences in wealth and
human power within social classes.
Dr. Ballabriga: In the program of this workshop, the title "Conclusions: Proposed Areas
of Research During the Next Decade" is announced for this final session. I do not think that
"conclusions" is really the appropriate word because this could be interpreted as meaning
something that is practically finished, but really we have not finished anything and are only
just developing ideas for the future.