Regular exercise and a balanced diet are needed to keep the body healthy. Too little food leads to a person being underweight and prone to certain types of illness, while too much food and not enough exercise leads to a person being overweight and other types of ill health.
Mineral ions and vitamins are also important in a healthy diet. They are needed in small amounts for healthy functioning of the body.
A poor diet may also lead to deficiency diseases. For example, too little vitamin D in the diet can lead to rickets, which affects the proper growth of the skeleton. Type 2 diabetes is also a problem related to poor diet. Note that you do not need to know how the nutrients work or the effects of any particular deficiency in the diet for your exam.
Respiration is a chemical reaction that allows cells to release energy from food. The metabolic rate is the speed at which such chemical reactions take place in the body and varies because of several factors, including age, gender and inherited factors.
Other factors affect health too, including inherited factors. For example, the cholesterol level in the blood can affect health. Cholesterol is made in the liver and is needed for healthy cell membranes. However, too much cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of heart disease and diseased arteries.