Nutrition during the preconception period, as well as throughout a pregnancy, has a major impact on pregnancy outcome. Among prepregnancy considerations, the prepregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI), folic acid status, and socioeconomic status are the most important.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by emotional and physical symptoms that can be troubling and cause moderate discomfort for women the week or two before the onset of their menstrual cycle. PMS is estimated to affect up to 40 percent of reproductive-aged women.

Preschoolers and Toddlers, Diet of

At approximately age one, children enter the latent period of growth. During this period, until the onset of puberty, growth and development are more gradual than during the first year.


Probiotics are live, nonpathogenic microorganisms that may interact with gastrointestinal and vaginal microflora. Clinical studies indicate that certain probiotics may be useful in treating some diarrheal disorders, respiratory allergies, and eczema, as well as in controlling inflammation and reducing the risk of candidal vaginitis and colon cancer.


Proteins are compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, which are arranged as strands of amino acids. They play an essential role in the cellular maintenance, growth, and functioning of the human body.


Quackery is a type of health fraud that promotes products and services that have questionable and unproven scientific bases. Quackery is short for quack-salver, which is derived from two Middle Dutch terms that mean "healing with unguents." However, quacken means "to boast," so a kwakzalver might be a healer who boasts about his power or products.

Recommended Dietary Allowances

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are nutrient intake levels that meet the needs of most healthy Americans. They were originally developed by the National Academy of Sciences, and were based on nutrient levels that would prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Refugee Nutrition Information System

Every year, thousands of individuals are displaced from their homes and homelands because of wars, political conflicts, and natural disasters. The Refugee Nutrition Information System (RNIS) was established in 1993 to collect data and report on the nutrition, health, and survival status of the most nutritionally vulnerable people in the world, including refugees, internally displaced populations, and those who are forced to migrate.

Regional Diet, American

It is quite clear that nutritional intake is associated with common health conditions such as obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, diabetes (high blood sugar), and cardiovascular disease. People in the United States make daily decisions related to grocery purchases, meal choices, food preparation, and other factors influencing their consumption of food and nutrients, and, thus, likely affecting their health.

Regulatory Agencies

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, increased levels of terrorist activities and a higher incidence of food-borne illness made regulation and protection of the food supply a worldwide concern. The goal of food regulatory agencies is to ensure that the public food supply is safe from disease caused by infection from human handling or by contamination from chemical or other hazardous substances.

Religion and Dietary Practices

Since the beginning of time, dietary practices have been incorporated into the religious practices of people around the world. Some religious sects abstain, or are forbidden, from consuming certain foods and drinks; others restrict foods and drinks during their holy days; while still others associate dietary and food preparation practices with rituals of the faith.

Rice-based Diets

Rice is the most important cereal crop for human consumption. It is the staple food for over 3 billion people (most of them poor) constituting over half of the world's population.


Rickets was once considered an extremely common disorder of childhood. The term itself is derived from the old English word for "twist," or "wrick," and throughout history children with rickets could be identified by their bowed legs and knock knees, which gave them a twisted appearance.


Satiety is a feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating. It is the opposite of hunger or appetite.

Scandinavians, Diet of

Scandinavia is a peninsula in northern Europe that is occupied by Norway and Sweden. Denmark is also generally considered to be part of Scandinavia because of its historical, political, and cultural ties to Norway and Sweden.

School-Aged Children, Diet of

The category of school-aged children includes children three to four years old who are preschoolers; elementary school children (kindergarten to fourth grade), who may be between four and ten years of age; middle school children between eleven and thirteen (grades five to eight); and high school children fourteen to eighteen (grades nine to twelve). Often, the nutrients their bodies need for optimal functioning and growth are different for each of these age groups.

School Food Service

There are 48 million school children who are served by school food services in the United States everyday. Many of these children participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which was established by Congress in 1946 to provide low-cost or free nutritionally sound lunches to public school children.


Scurvy is a condition characterized by hemorrhages around the hair follicles of the arms and legs, generalized weakness, anemia, and gum disease (gingivitis) resulting from a lack of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the diet. Early epidemics of scurvy occurred during the Renaissance (1600–1800s) among explorers and seafaring men.

Small for Gestational Age

Small for gestational age, also known as intrauterine growth retardation, is defined as an infant or fetus smaller in size than expected, meaning a weight in the bottom tenth percentile for a particular age. Small for gestational age is believed to be related to placental insufficiency, infectious disease, congenital malformations, drug and alcohol abuse, and cigarette smoking.