Food and Health

In our previous class, we have learned about the components of food, the importance of nutrition, types and sources of food. Here in this chapter, we will be learning more about food, nutrients and diseases caused due to the deficiency of nutrients.

Food is necessary for the development of the body provides energy to do work, and also provides protection from diseases.

Food that includes all the five components in the right proportion is called a balanced diet. Therefore, we should always have a balanced diet to prevent diseases.

Deficiency Diseases

  • Deficiency diseases are caused due to a lack of nutrients.
  • Food is mainly composed of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and mineral salts.
  • These nutrients help in growth and development, provide strength, and protect the body from diseases.
  • Due to the deficiency of these nutrients, many diseases can occur, such as anaemia, kwashiorkor, rickets, night blindness, goitre, beri beri, etc.

Let us learn a few details about these deficiency diseases.



  • It is a nutrition deficiency disease caused due to the lack of iron in the body.
  • In a person suffering from anaemia, the blood becomes thin.


  • Yellow gums.
  • Whiteness in nails.
  • Pale, transparent skin.
  • Weakness and tiredness.
  • Yellowness in the inside of pupils of the eyes.

If deficiency of blood increases, there is swelling on the face and feet, heartbeat increases, breathing becomes faster and nails become disfigured.

Prevention and treatment:

Include healthy and balanced diet food with various vitamins and iron-rich food, such as bajra, chicken, eggs, fish, jaggery, meat, ragi, spinach, etc.



  • It is a nutrition deficiency disease caused due to severe protein deficiencies.
  • This disease occurs mainly in children.


  • Swollen face.
  • Body growth stops.
  • Wounds and scraped skin.
  • Swelling on hands and feet.
  • Thin and weak upper arms.
  • Loss of colour of skin and hair.

Prevention and treatment:

  • Children suffering from kwashiorkor need extra food.
  • They should be given a greater quantity of cheese, egg, fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes, milk, meat, nuts, peas, pulses, and soya beans.

Night blindness


  • It is a nutrition deficiency disease caused by the deficiency of Vitamin ‘A’.
  • This disease occurs mainly in children between the ages of 2 and 5.


  • Dry Eyes.
  • Other vision problems.
  • The patient cannot see clearly at night.
  • The patient cannot see objects clearly in dim light.

Prevention and treatment:

  • If possible, the mother should breastfeed the child for two years.
  • Children above six months should also be given other food containing Vitamin ‘A’, such as carrots, spinach, milk, egg, liver, fish, yellow and red coloured fruits and vegetables, etc.

Storage of food items

Along with a balanced diet, it is also necessary to maintain food safety.

Proper storage can save food items, sometimes for some days and sometimes for some months, from becoming stale and rotten. Some methods of storing food at home are:

  • Drying.
  • Canning.
  • Freezing.
  • Fermentation.
  • Refrigerating.
  • Using chemicals.
  • With oil and spices.
  • Removing bacteria by cooking at high temperatures.

Stay tuned to BYJU’S for more information on NIOS, syllabus, notes, along with its important questions and solutions.


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