The factors that affect the nutritional requirements of an individual are the quality and quantity of the food they eat, the efficiency of their digestive systems in absorbing and utilizing eaten food and biological availability.
1. The quality of food that we cat can vary depending on the soil and growing condition of that food. The nutritional quality of our food can also be affected by the manufacturing process, storage and manufacturing of our foods.
2. The quality of food that we eat can also influence our traditional status. In developing countries, malnutrition is a huge problem but in developed countries, undernutrition can occur due to dependency on heavy refined processed foods.
3. The efficiency of our digestive system affects our natural status, bad condition of our intestine will reduce the absorption of digested foods into our blood stream. Metabolic faults, sensitive to certain food and the presence of substances like tea and coffee can affect the absorption rate of certain nutrients.
4. Biochemical availability of the optimum range of the intake of a person‘s essential nutritional requirement. This nutritional requirement is influenced by age, growth, sex, pregnancy and breast feeding, illness, psychological and emotional stress, activity level and other factors like smoking and drinking.
5. Nutritional requirement changes people at old age older because the elderly use a lot of medication. Their absorption, excretion and utilization of nutrients can be affected.
6. State of health: nutritional requirement vary depending on whether someone is healthy or ill, as diseases are unique so are the nutritional requirements needed when the person is ill.
7. A person’s activity level will affect their nutritional requirements. An athlete will need a different nutritional requirement to that of office workers. Exercise improves metabolic efficiency in some people and increases nutrient requirement.
8. Income: members of the low income class are at risk of poor nutrition as they may not have access to foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and wholesome grains making it more difficult to get proper nutrition.
9. Availability of food: the availability of food too can affect nutrition when food is scarce, not readily available to individuals to buy due to low harvest or any other relevant reason.
10. Ignorance: when people are ignorant of their nutritional needs, what to eat, why and where to get it, Ignorance of the importance of nutrition can affect nutritional requirements.
11. Storage: lack of proper storage facilities to store post harvest foods and even the home storage of processed foods can lead to detoriation of foods which affects nutritional requirements.