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Nutrition and Lifestyle Management
Coursework 1: An assessment of your own diet.
Written practical assignment (2000 words +/- 10%).
You are analysing your own diet, so you are the subject of the study.
Your reaction to this exercise will be mixed. It is a time-consuming exercise and needs to be
done carefully in order to be as accurate as possible. If you do not carry it out as accurately
as you can, the results will be less meaningful. The rewards usually outweigh the
drawbacks, and, while you may not feel it at the time, many students do come back and say
to me that they have found the exercise illuminating, informative and often reassuring. (No
doubt there are some who are still cursing me for years to come!)
Be objective about the exercise and try not to get emotionally involved!!
In completing this piece of work you will be able to demonstrate that you have succeeded in
gaining a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the following areas:
? The current state of knowledge of requirements for macronutrients and
? The health problems linked to an excessive or deficient intake of certain nutrients.
? the fact that food and drink are not taken at random, but in the context of social
exchanges among people and within social institutions such as the family and that
food intake patterns are strongly influenced by geographic, economic and “cultural”
You will also be able to demonstrate:
? competency in the use of computer databases for dietary analysis, in analysing
results, and in the presentation of results in graphical and tabular form
? a critical understanding and approach to the research context of the subject area by:
o Being able to relate theory to practice by demonstrating the ability to adapt
dietary advice to meet the particular needs of the individual.
o The ability to discuss the role of diet and appropriate supplementation for
o An awareness of safety issues surrounding dietary advice in practice.
Sections of the Assessment and Requirements for the Report.
The exercise will involve the following parts.
Part 1: Case history:
You should present a short case history for yourself as the ‘patient’ or ‘client’. This
should not exceed 250 words. Any factors that might impact on dietary advice that
will be given should be considered. These might include family history or personal
medical history, for example of diabetes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol etc;
desire to lose weight or gain weight; compliance issues.
Part 2. Method
You should include a brief method section. Detailed methods can be placed in an
appendix for reference. Information such as the methods/equipment used for
weighing and measuring, the days on which the dietary analysis was performed, the
computer programme used etc should be included.
a) Recording your diet:
You will record your typical food intake. To get a reasonably accurate idea of your
average intake, record all meals, snacks and drinks, including water consumed over
3 days. The 3 days must be consecutive and include 2 weekdays and one
weekend day i.e. Thursday, Friday and Saturday OR Sunday, Monday and
The method for recording your diet will be introduced in week 2 and you will need to
use the designated forms and procedure given then. These will also be available
on OASIS. Include the record in an appendix to your submitted work.
Include all snacks, condiments and spices, tonics, alcoholic
drinks, sweets, etc.
All snacks, meals and drinks consumed away from home must be recorded
Begin each day on a new page of the record form
Record the day of the week and the date at the top of the record form
Record each item of a composite dish on a separate line
Record where and what time each snack, meal or drink was consumed.
*how to describe food and drinks
1. method of cooking
2. kind of food (raw or cooked; peeled or unpeeled etc)
3. Brand names where appropriate
4. include all condiments (pickles, sauce, etc)
5. provide as much information from the label as possible about any unusual or special food
* how to record amounts of foods and drinks
1. record the amounts of all food and beverages
in the form they are consumed
Eg. Do not record the weight or size of a raw potato or piece of meat but the amount of it in the cooked form
*Calculation of nutrition intake
Nutrition intake can be calculated using food composition table or using a computer program and nutrient database. You can make your choice
1. nutritional analysis tool 2.0 (NAT 2.0)
this is an online nutritional analysis programme that you can access on the internet.
It is important to remember that this programme compares the analysed diet against American RDA’s. you will need to compare your nutrient intake over the 3 days against the British DRV’s as set by COMA (1991). These figures are given below. You will need to calculate your intake as a percentage of these figures for your assignment.
Again, American website, so you will need to analyse your diet but compare the nutrient intakes against UK DRVs and not the American ones.
b) Analysing Your Diet
Having recorded everything you have consumed over 3 days you will need to
calculate the nutrient content of the food eaten. You can do this using a computer
. Include the print outs from the dietary analysis as an appendix to your
Part 3. Results
a) Intake of nutrients as a percentage of UK Dietary Reference Values (DRVs).
Using your dietary analysis, you will record your intake as a percent of UK DRVs in
a table in a format similar to Table 1 given below and also as a graph (call the graph
Figure 1 and give it a full title).
Please note that you are expected to compare intake against current UK values and
not American values which are different for some nutrients.
Think hard about the best way to present the results as a graph that makes then
important issues easy to understand.
You should include the nutrients given here but you can add other nutrients if you
consider these important in this particular dietary analysis. If you include them you
will have to justify their inclusion in your discussion.
Table 1: Intake of nutrients as % of UK Dietary Reference Values (3 day weighed
intake: subject information ........)
3 day average
3 day average intake as a % of UK DRVs
Folate (Folic Acid)
Include other nutrients if important
b) Energy Intake.
You will need to calculate the proportion of calories derived from each of the
macronutrients i.e. the proportion of total energy intake that protein, fat and
carbohydrate contributes. Alcohol also provides energy if you consume it.
You should present this in the format of the following table and also construct a pie
chart to represent this information.
Table 3: Distribution of energy intake in the diet: (mean of 3 day weighed intake;
subject information ...)
Nutrient and alcohol
Recommended percent of total calories (from UK guidelines)
Percent of total calorie intake derived from each dietary source
Evaluate health risks associated with weight and estimates of body fat composition.
You should present this information and any other data that you might think relevant
in the table below. For information on BMI see:
Waist-to-hip ratio: divide the measurement of your waist by that of your hips (men:
ratio ideally _ 0.90; women _ 0.85)
Waist circumference: Men: _ 94cm increased risk; _ 102cm substantially increased
risk; Women: _ 80cm increased risk; _ 88cm substantially increased risk.
Table 4: Results of Anthropometric Measurement (Subject details...)
Standard of range considered healthy (WHO)
Waist circumference (cm)
Waist to hip ratio
d) Energy intake and output:
Estimate your energy output and compare this against your current energy intake.
Present this in a table as indicated below.
Table 5: Average energy intake and output
Average energy intake over the 3 days
Estimated energy output
% difference between average daily intake and output
Part 4: Evaluation of your diet and Discussion:
Your evaluation needs to address the results of your dietary analysis i.e. your
findings. Use the list below as a guideline for your write-up but this is not
exhaustive and should be tailored to your particular ‘client’ and their diet and needs.
You need to write in a scientific style (see the next section) and you must back up
any assertions you make with evidence, citing relevant literature throughout.
a) Using the information from Table 1, evaluate how your diet compares to DRVs.
Think about nutrients which you consumed less than 75% of your DRV and
those nutrients consumed in excess of DRVs.
b) How does the diet analysed compare to dietary guidelines and goals for
carbohydrates, fats (types of fat), protein, and alcohol as a % of total energy
c) How does your diet compare to dietary guidelines and goals for non-starch
d) Is the energy intake appropriate for the subject (you)? Why/why not? Think
about body weight, BMI, whether you are gaining or losing weight etc
e) Salt intake: consider whether salt intake is too high and discuss approaches to
bringing this to within current guidelines (see
f) Evaluate how your diet compares to UK dietary guidelines; (see
Be sure to address each of the guidelines and support your answer using
information from your results tables.
g) Based on your responses above, identify changes that you would recommend to
improve the diet for this ‘client’
? Describe how these dietary changes could be accomplished.
? Discuss why these changes may benefit the health of this subject (you) or
help prevent disease in the future.
? If your diet is adequate in every way and there is no room for improvement,
explain what makes it so good.
? Discuss any barriers that exist that might make it difficult for this subject
(you) to make changes to diet and lifestyle or that might lead to reverting to
the old diet after a time (Compliance issues). How might you as a practitioner
help the ‘client’ with the ‘stages of change’ involved? Refer to models of
compliance and the change process(weeks 1 and 2)
? Dietary recommendations: A summary table of your recommended changes
including changes in the food eaten should be included. Make this easily
accessible; imagine you were giving this to a client to help them comply with
the advice you are giving.
Part 5: Reference List
Make sure you provide a full reference list. Use the guidelines given on the
LR webpages – Referencing for health and Social Sciences
Scientific Report Writing.
"The preparation of a scientific paper has almost nothing to do with literary skill.
It is a question of organization."
--Robert A. Day, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper
When writing-up a practical exercise such as this it is important to remember not to
regurgitate chunks from textbooks or from any other source. You should aim to show that
you understand the aims of the dietary assessment exercise and the significance of what
you were able to find out; that you are able to present data in a clear and concise way and
that you can interpret and fit your results into a theoretical framework.
You should try to write in a way that is easily understood and grammatically correct. Use full
sentences and check the spelling. Scientific writing is usually in the past tense because you
are reporting on an exercise or experiment that has been completed. However, when citing
a published result it is etiquette that you refer to it as a fact in the present tense, e.g. “DNA
has a double helix structure (Watson and Crick 1953)”.
It is also a convention in science writing to use the passive voice. In other words, instead of
writing “I analysed the data...” you would write, “The data was analysed...”. However, it is ok
to use the active voice wherever it is not too self referential e.g. rather than saying that “The
food was eaten by the dog”, you can say that “The dog ate the food”.
Your report should always start with the title and end with references.
In between, for this assignment, you need to include the results and evaluation as described
above in sections 3 and 4.
You should give the work your own title (not the title of the assessment as given).
Your title should describe contents clearly and precisely.
? Avoid wasted words such as "studies on," "an investigation of."
? Avoid abbreviations and jargon
? Avoid "cute" titles.
? Unacceptable: An Investigation of body temperature change during and after
Unacceptable: Body temperature: are we hot after exercise?
Acceptable: Body temperature change due to exercise.
? Graphs should be used where data shows a trend e.g. body temperature
measured over a day at hourly intervals.
? Graphs must be adequately labelled and calibrated. Graphs and drawings are
called “figures” and labelled “Figure 1”, “Figure 2” etc., in the sequence to which
they are referred in the text.
? You should draw graphs on a computer but keep special effects to a minimum
? All graphs should have a title. The title should give enough information to explain
what is shown and give enough indication of the subject/method etc. to interpret
the graph without referring back to the text.
? Carefully consider what sort of graph you should be using e.g. bar chart,
histogram, line graph. If you are not sure, either look it up in a text book or ask a
? Tables should be used as indicated and should be used if there is no trend or if
exact numbers are more important. Tables should be labelled “Table 1”, “Table
2” etc. Tables should be given a title at the top with any explanation and
comments given at the bottom of the table in the form of footnotes.
What do your observations mean?
What conclusions can you draw?
In the discussion you should comment on your results, interpreting them in the light of the
published literature. You should try to draw your own conclusions. Keep your explanations
brief and very relevant. Try hard not to simply repeat the text from your results section.
? Move from specifically discussing your findings to discussing them in the light of
the literature, theory and practice.
? Make explanations complete.
? Give evidence for each conclusion i.e. from the literature.
? Discuss possible reasons for expected and unexpected findings.
? Don't over generalise.
? Don't ignore deviations in the findings.
Basic rule: list a reference for every idea or statement not your own.
You should read text books, journal articles and use other sources to write your report and
then cite these sources in the body of the text as well as list them in a reference list at the
end. As a level 3 module, you are expected to use primary sources i.e. peer reviewed
journal articles, not only text books (secondary sources).
References should be made using the recognised format chosen by the University. If you
are unsure of the way to reference and to format references, make use of the information
provided in the library and on the intranet (Referencing and citation Style; Health and Social
You should list a reference for every idea that is not your own. When we talk about
plagiarism it does not only mean copying something word for word, it also covers using
another person’s ideas without acknowledging that person. You not only have to reference
the authors of books and papers, but also web sites accessed and other people with whom
you might have worked with to produce the lab report. If, for example, you work in a group in
the laboratory and someone else in the group comes up with an idea that you use you
should acknowledge as a personal communication (S. Trop, pers. comm.).
Dietary Reference Values
Adapted from COMA 1991, Dietary Reference Values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom
Male (19-50 yrs)
0.75g/kg body weight
33% of total dietary energy
10% of total dietary energy
Monounsaturated fatty acids
12% of total dietary energy
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
6% of total dietary energy
50% of total dietary energy intake
Subject: Mr A
Date of Birth: 18. 03. 1978
Marital status: married
Occupation: Full time student
Nationality: South Korean
Home address: London, UK
Height: 175cm Weight: 82.6kg
Fat: 16.5% (13.6kg)
Lean: 83.5% (69kg)
Dry lean weight: 20.4kg
Water 48.6 liter
BMR: 2101 kcal
BMR/body weight: 25.4kcal/kg
Activity level: Med (plays basketball once a week, goes gym twice a week)
Hip: 100 cm (Waist to hip ratio: 0.85)
Nutritional Analysis Tool version 2.0 (NAT 2.0) http://nat.crgq.com
to analyse the food intake explained below
Record of dietary intake on Thursday 22nd 2009
10 am /1 apple, 1 cup of green tea /home
11 am chewing gum 1 / street
1 pm /tuna sandwich, 200ml milk, chewing gum 1 /café
7pm~ T bone steak, 1 glass of red wine / outback steak house
Record of dietary intake on Friday 23rd Jan 2009
10:00 home/ milk-cow-lowfat-past&raw-fluid-2%fat-w/added vit a 200ml
10:00 home/ waffles-buttermilk-prepared from recipe 60g
2:00 pm pizza hut/ thin’n crispy pizza with ham, 4 slices 292g
2pm pizza hut/ orange juice 200ml
3:00pm outside/ chewing gum, 1 pc 5g
8pm home/ pork-fresh-loin-center rib boneless-sep lean and fat-cooked-pan fried 300g
8pm home/ lettuce-looseleaf-raw, garlic-raw 5 pieces
10pm pub/ alcoholic beverage
-beer-light 4 pints
10pm pub/ peanuts-all types-oil roasted-w/salt 50g
Record of dietary intake on Saturday 24th 2009
2pm home/ orange juice (Sunkist pure) 600ml
7pm sushi bar/ tuna sasimi 600g, wasabi (Japanese horseradish) 1 tea spoon, soy sauce 10g,
Rakyo(pickled spring onion) 20g, miso soup 100ml, beer 6 pints,
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