Smoking is an important and preventable cause of death and illness. However, as more money has been spent on smoking cessation programs, the incidence of cigarette smoking has risen.

Society for Nutrition Education

The Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) is an organization of nutrition professionals whose aim is to be involved in nutrition education and health promotion. The organization represents professional interests in nutrition education within the United States and worldwide.

South Americans, Diet of

South America is the fourth largest continent on the planet, making up 12 percent of the earth's surface. It contains twelve independent nations: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Southern Europeans, Diet of

Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and southern France make up the region known as southern Europe. Southern France is included because it is culturally similar to the rest of southern Europe.


A member of the legume family, the soybean is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and the B vitamins and is also cholesterol free and low in saturated fat. The protein in soybeans is complete, containing all the essential amino acids found in animal sources (4 ounces of tofu [soybean curd] contain the same amount and quality of protein as a similar-size hamburger).

Space Travel and Nutrition

Nutrition has played a critical role throughout the history of exploration, and space exploration is no exception. While a one- to two-week flight aboard the Space Shuttle might be analogous to a camping trip, adequate nutrition is absolutely critical when spending several months aboard the International Space Station or several years on a mission to another planet.

Sports Nutrition

Aside from training, nutrition is the most important influence on sports performance. To reach one's highest potential, all of the body's systems must be working optimally.

Sustainable Food Systems

A food system is a process that aims to create a more direct link between the producers (farmers) of food and fiber and the consumers of the food. This system consists of several components, including production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste disposal.


Toxemia is the presence of abnormal substances in the blood, but the term is also used in reference to a condition in pregnancy also known as preeclampsia. This refers to pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure) and any possible accompanying symptoms, such as quick or sudden weight gain, water retention, and excessive swelling of the feet, hands, and face.


A person is considered underweight if his or her body mass index (BMI) falls below a certain threshold (body mass index is a measure determined by a person's age, height, and weight). For infants and children, a BMI below the 10th percentile for a specific age indicates an individual who is underweight.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created in 1946. It was renamed the United Nations Children's Fund in 1953, when the fund's focus changed from emergency aid to on going support of children's needs.


A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is a vegetarian who does not eat any animal products, including eggs and dairy products. A well-planned vegan diet can be nutritionally adequate, even for children and pregnant and lactating women.


A vegetarian eating plan, also known as plant-based eating, is based on a diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, with occasional use of dairy and egg products. This style of eating has existed since the beginning of recorded history.

Vitamins, Fat-Soluble

Because they dissolve in fat, vitamins A, D, E, and K are called fat-soluble vitamins. They are absorbed from the small intestines, along with dietary fat, which is why fat malabsorption resulting from various diseases (e.g., cystic fibrosis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease) is associated with poor absorption of these vitamins.

Vitamins, Water-Soluble

Vitamins are essential organic substances that are needed in small amounts in the diet for the normal function, growth, and maintenance of body tissues. Water-soluble vitamins consist of the B vitamins and vitamin C.

Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Waist-to-hip ratio is defined as the measurement of waist circumference divided by hip circumference (for example, a waist measurement of 33 and a hip measurement of 44 give a ratio of .75). It is used as a risk-factor assessment tool for heart disease, hypertension, and type-2 diabetes.


Water is a colorless and odorless liquid made up of molecules containing two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Water is essential for all life to exist, as it makes up more than 70 percent of most living things.

Weight Loss Diets

With over 50 percent of the population of the United States and other industrialized countries being either overweight or obese, a great number of people want to lose weight. However, weight loss is not easy—and not often successful.

Weight Management

Obesity is a chronic condition, meaning it is unlikely to be cured, so behavioral interventions are needed to help people change their habits and improve their quality of life and their psychological functioning. The goal of weight management for obese people is to help them improve their unhealthful dietary and sedentary habits.


Wellness is a state of being in good health, both physically and mentally, and of being free of (and not at risk for) illness. To maintain wellness, individuals need to follow a regimen of periodic risk assessment and adopt behavior changes that lead to a lower risk of acquiring certain diseases.

Whole Foods Diet

The term whole foods refers to foods that have not been processed or refined, including whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Whole foods contain compounds known as phytochemicals that may reduce the risk for many diseases.

WIC Program

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is funded and administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture in partnership with states and local agencies. Its purpose is to serve as an adjunct to good health care during critical times of growth and development in order to prevent the occurrence of health problems.

Women's Nutritional Issues

Women have special nutritional needs due to hormonal changes that occur with menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and menopause, all of which alter the recommended daily intake of nutrients. Of the many diseases that affect women, five have a scientific-based connection to nutrition: iron-deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international group of one hundred and ninety-one member states devoted to the maintenance and improvement of the health of all people throughout the world. Member states are divided into six geographic regions: Southeast Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas, Africa, the Western Pacific, and Europe.


Xerophthalmia is a severe drying of the eye surface caused by a malfunction of the tear glands. Also found in people with immune disorders, it occurs most commonly because of decreased intake or absorption of vitamin A.

Yo-Yo Dieting

Yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling, is the repeated losing and regaining of weight. This phenomenon is very common in societies that place an emphasis on being thin.