What does it mean to be healthy, how does what we eat affect our health and what are effective diets to try out?

This project explores the concept of health, method to increase health, life expectency and societal conceptions of a healthy body. Exploring body image and the science behind diets, looking at whether these diets are factual or a health fad.
Mariam Joseph
Grade 10


There are many different ways to be healthy and every year we hear about people starting diets but which ones work? Scientifically based diets are quite hard to differentiate from others. So to figure out useful diets, I figured I would research into it.


I have researched the topic using the internet, finding different research papers and articles.


According to mental health.org: Higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders. Conversely, body satisfaction and appreciation have been linked to better overall well-being and fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours.

A normally healthy weight range for an individual can be perceived as overweight by someone with a distorted body image.  An anorexic young woman may look at herself in a mirror and see a reflection that is greater than her actual size.

Conversely, it is not uncommon for obese individuals to report that they did not realize they were as large as they are and had perceived their body as much smaller until an occasion arises where they see a photograph, video or window reflection that strikes a nerve and causes them to come to terms with their actual image.

A high B.M.I. can be an indicator of high body fatness. B.M.I. can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual. Although this ratio has some level of correctness being overweight on the B.M.I. scale does NOT mean a person is unhealthy.  It is necessary to check with a doctor before deeming one's self or another unhealthy. 

 B.M.I. is a useful indicator of health at the population level. However, the distribution of fat on your body is more important than the amount, when assessing your disease risk. For this reason, your waist circumference is thought to be a better predictor of a health risk than your  B.M.I.

Dieting is regulating one's food intake for the purpose of improving one's physical condition controlling one's body fat and muscle levels.

Most people tend to diet to lose what is considered to be excess body fat. Contrarily there are diets for people to gain weight in healthy manor, as people might be underweight and struggle to gain weight.



Staying healthy physically can help you stay healthy emotionally too. If you're eating the right food and keeping fit, your body will be strong and help you to cope with stress and also fight illness. Eating well and exercising often when you're a teenager will also help you stay in good health later in life. Being healthy prevents many problems that should arise later on due to bad habits. Sleep is very important for health as well,  it enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day. Getting adequate rest may also help prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and increased illness duration.

Some tips to be healthy are:

Make sure to get a healthy amount of exercise regularly.

Stay away from processed foods.

Get the recommended amount of sleep.

Eat nutritiously and eat fulfilling foods.

When trying a diet make sure to research effects, results and ability to be sustained.

Never try giving yourself hormones without consulting a doctor and researching first.


Atkins diet: What's behind the claims? (2020, May 06). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/atkins-diet/art-20048485#:~:text=The%20Atkins%20Diet%20holds%20that,eating%20more%20protein%20and%20fat.
Body image & weight issues: What causes negative views. (2021, February 18). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/body-image
Default - stanford children's health. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=why-the-family-meal-is-important-1-701#:~:text=Numerous%20studies%20show%20that%20eating,day%2Dto%2Dday%20existence.
Dieting. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/science/dieting
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, M. (2021, February 09). A low-carb diet for beginners – the ultimate guide. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb
Fuller, J. (n.d.). What's the deal with the keto diet? Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/what-is-the-keto-diet-and-how-does-it-work-article#:~:text=The%20aim%20of%20the%20keto,ketones%20to%20use%20as%20fuel.
How body image affects self-esteem? (2020, September 19). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.mindshiftwellnesscenter.com/how-body-image-affects-self-esteem/
Is the South Beach diet for you? (2020, April 25). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/south-beach-diet/art-20048491
Mackeen, D. (2020, January 02). What is the keto diet and does it work? Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/style/self-care/keto-diet-explained-benefits.html#:~:text=the%20keto%20diet%3F-,Yes.,by%20the%20National%20Lipid%20Association.
Mawer, R. (2020, November 05). The 18 best healthy foods to gain weight fast. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/18-foods-to-gain-weight
Melinda. (n.d.). The Mediterranean diet. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diets/the-mediterranean-diet.htm#:~:text=By%20reducing%20your%20risk%20of,you%20maintain%20a%20healthy%20weight.
Migala, J. (2017, October 16). 25 trendy fad diets that are Total BS. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.redbookmag.com/body/health-fitness/g3141/do-fad-diets-work/
NHS. (n.d.). The vegan diet. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-vegan-diet/#:~:text=A%20vegan%20diet%20contains%20only,including%20dairy%20products%20and%20eggs.
What is health?: Defining and preserving good health. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999#:~:text=%E2%80%9CHealth%20is%20a%20state%20of,absence%20of%20disease%20or%20infirmity.%E2%80%9D