Mental health legislation and decision making capacity: Capacity is more complex than it looks

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Mental health legislation and decision making capacity: Capacity is more complex than it looks

BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Publication Date
Jan 14, 2006
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


food for thought nutrition Many people think that "diet" is a four- letter word, but it doesn’t have to be. A good diet can and should include foods you enjoy. Often, the trick is eating the right amounts of those foods and learning to prepare or cook them in a healthier manner. Sometimes a few simple changes can mean vast improvements in your physical and emotional health. For people with mental illness, proper nutrition is especially important to overall health. However, when you are facing the many challenges involved in living with a mental illness, it is easy to become over- whelmed with meal planning and resort to what is quick and easy. Unfortunately, quick and easy isn’t always healthy. Most "junk" or fast foods are packed with "empty" calories that quickly add pounds but provide little nutritional value. Facing mental illness can also be isolat- ing, and many people seek refuge in food. That can create a vicious cycle in which you lose self-esteem as you gain weight, leading to further isolation. The foods you select have a direct impact on how you feel. A well-balanced eating plan can help you feel energized and alert and keep your weight under control. A poor diet can leave you feeling lethargic, unat- tractive and at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, stroke and other diseases. Being overweight can cause shortness of breath and affect mobility, limiting how much you can par- ticipate in and enjoy life. It also increases your risk of diabetes, which can place extra stress on the arteries and cause damage to the cardiovascular system. Certain foods have direct interactions with medications commonly prescribed to treat mental illness that can cause serious health problems, such as high blood pres- sure. Ask your pharmacist about which foods could interact harmfully with your medications. Some medications may affect your body’s metabolism, making you more prone to weight gain or loss. However, these changes can be managed through a well-ba

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