Nutrition is important because it helps individuals attain optimal health throughout life, according to the National Health and Medical Research Council of the Australian Government. Eating a balanced diet improves a person's health and well-being and reduces risks of major causes of death.
Food is a source of energy, vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fats needed by the body to live, grow and function properly, says the NHMRC. People need a large variety of different foods to obtain sufficient amounts of nutrients for a healthy body. With good nutrition, people can reduce the risk of numerous diet-related diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis and nutritional anemia.
Proper nutrition plays a key role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, notes the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. A person's daily food choices considerably affect his overall health. When combined with physical activity, a healthy diet can help people keep a healthy weight and reduce risk of chronic diseases. Unhealthy diets have led to the obesity epidemic in the United States. As of 2011, around 33.8 percent of adults are obese. Poor diet is closely linked to major health risks even for people with a healthy weight. Considering the significant connection between good nutrition and healthy weight, it is thus important for people to make smart food choices.