Personal Diet Evaluation
Each student will use the data from their iProfile reports and apply their knowledge of nutrition from the course to write a paper about their own nutrition and exercise habits.
The paper should be written at a college level. It should be interesting to read, factually correct, and free of grammatical and spelling errors. You should write in complete sentences, organized in paragraphs. Do not write “bullets” or lists to present information.
After you complete the first draft of your paper, use the PDA Evaluation Checklist to review it for completeness. Revise according to your findings.
Organize your paper according to the guidelines on the next page. Use underlining, bold print, or a larger font to set off each topic heading. For example:
Weight and Activity Level
My Body Mass Index (BMI) is 23.6, which puts me in the “Healthy Weight” category…….”
What to Write
Organize your paper using the following topic headings. Beneath each heading, I have supplied you with the types of information that should be included in that section of the paper. This information is to help you understand what to write.
Do not list these cues in your paper.
Weight and Activity Level
In three or more paragraphs, address the following questions. (Again, do not state the questions in your paper. They are provided here to get you started on writing about this topic.). Use your Intake Compared to DRI report to find this information.
How many calories did you consume during the three-day diet study and how does that compare with your estimated needs from your profile? If you are maintaining weight but according to your printout you are consuming more/fewer calories than you need, how is this possible? What are some of the possible errors in your food records and/or the energy calculations?
What is your Body Mass Index (BMI)? You will find this number located under your Profile in iProfile. You can also find BMI calculators online if you no longer have access to iProfile.
In what weight range is your BMI? Briefly describe your lifetime weight history.
Describe your family history of diseases related to weight. (Specifically, do you or any blood relatives have chronic diseases that are known to be affected by weight, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breast cancer, or heart disease?)
Do you exercise on a regular basis? Describe your specific usual physical activities, sports and exercise program, if any. Averaged out over a week, specifically estimate how many minutes a day you engage in moderate-intensity exercise.
Fruit and Vegetable Choices
Refer to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for recommendations for consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Using the information from the MyPlate report write one or more paragraphs about how well you met the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Did you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as the guideline suggests? If not, why did you not have variety?
Whole Grains and Dietary Fiber
Look at your Intake Compared to DRI report and find the section on fiber. You may need to reference your textbook or other sources to obtain information about which foods contained whole grains.
How did your intake of whole grains compare to the recommendations? Give the specific names of any whole grain foods that you ate during the diet study period. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines suggest that we consume at least 3 servings daily. How did your intake compare to that? If you fell short, please describe when and how you could include more whole grains in your daily diet (ex: “To add more whole grains to my diet, I could eat Frosted Mini Wheats or oatmeal for breakfast, and …..”)
How did your fiber intake compare to your RDA for fiber?
Describe the specific amounts over the 3 days. If your fiber intake fell short on one or more days, please give at least four specific examples of foods you could add to your diet that would add more fiber. Include the serving size of the food, and how much fiber it would add. (Ex: “I could add 3 grams of fiber by including a banana as a snack in the mid-morning”, or “instead of having corn flakes in the morning, with 1 gram of fiber per cup, I could choose raisin bran with 7 grams per cup”.). Use reasonable servings and do not choose foods that are excessive in calorie content.
Fat and oil choices
Using the Intake Compared to DRI report, calculate the percent of calories from saturated fat you consumed during the diet study. You must calculate this percentage as it is not part of the report.
Calculation to find percentage of calories from saturated fat. Find saturated fat grams and then multiply by 9 which will give you calories from saturated fat. The next step is to divide the saturated fat calories by the total calories you consumed and multiply by 100. If you get a percentage that is somewhere in the 4-40% range you probably did the calculation correctly.
In a separate paragraph, describe the types of oils or solid fats (soft or stick margarine, Crisco, lard, butter) used in your home. On average, how many servings per week do you eat of commercially deep-fried foods that are rich in trans fatty acids? (Examples include restaurant French fries, chicken nuggets, onion rings, fish filets, “crispy” chicken patties, fruit pies and doughnuts.). How well did you meet the goal of having no trans fatty acids in your diet? Keep in mind that the “other/unspecified” category in the fat breakdown table is probably trans fatty acids.
How well did you meet your omega-3 fatty acid goal? Discuss how often you consume fish. Describe other sources of omega-3 fatty acids that you regularly consume (examples: walnuts, canola oil, and flaxseed).
Describe all the foods and beverages you ate that are high in added sugars. This would include cookies, candy, cake, pie, pastry (including doughnuts), ice cream, soda, punch, sweetened coffee drinks and fruit drinks (unless “diet” or “sugar free”), and cereals with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Comment on your intake of sugary foods and drinks.
Using the Intake Compared to DRI report & the Single Nutrient for Sodium report, if available, summarize your usual sodium intake. Make sure to discuss specific foods that may have contributed to excessive sodium intake.
Are you at risk for developing hypertension? Why or why not?
Vitamins and Minerals
Summarize your vitamin and mineral intake using the Intake Compared to DRI printout & the Intake Spreadsheet reports. (Ex: “On all three days of the diet study, I was low in vitamin A, folate and calcium. On two of the three days, I fell below 100% of the RDA for thiamin, iron and…”) Make sure to include a discussion of all vitamins and all minerals.
Choose any three vitamins/and or minerals where your intake was low on one or more days and list three good food sources for each. Do not use fortified products such as breakfast cereals, Slim Fast, Cliff bars, etc. Do not say you will take a vitamin supplement. If you were not low in any nutrients, indicate this in a simple sentence. If you were only low in one or two vitamins/and or minerals during the three day diet study, describe three good food sources for each of those nutrients.
In a separate paragraph, describe whether you take any dietary supplements. Describe what they contain. Comment on whether or not you are reaching ULs for any of the nutrients. Besides vitamins and minerals, list any protein supplements, fish oils, or other supplement products that you regularly use.
Discuss whether or not you think supplements are necessary in your diet? If you do not take supplements please discuss whether or not you believe you should be or any supplements you may be considering taking based on your results.
Use of Alcohol
Did you consume any alcohol during the diet study? If you did, indicate whether your intake met the guidelines for moderate intake, that is, no more than one drink daily for women and no more than two drinks daily for men. (A “drink” is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 ½ ounces of hard liquor.) If you did not consume alcohol just state that you did not consume alcohol.
Factors affecting food intake
Eating habits are very personal and are the product of many factors. These factors can include your ethnicity, budget, time constraints, preferences of other people in your household, weight or diet concerns, emotional comfort, sports programs, childhood memories, your cooking ability, and of course personal likes and dislikes. Take a few minutes to make some notes to yourself about which of these factors affect your food choices.
Write at least one or two detailed paragraphs explaining to the reader what influences your food choices. During the discussion, you can also mention any changes you have made as a result of taking this nutrition course, but be sure you first provide information about your total dietary influences.
Based on what you have written in this paper, briefly describe the strengths and weaknesses of your current eating and exercise habits.
List two or three specific changes you could make to improve your diet and fitness level. At least one of these must be related to diet. For instance, general (unacceptable) statements would be, “I know I need to exercise more”, or “I need to increase my intake of fruit”. Specific (acceptable) statements would be “I could take a walk for thirty minutes after dinner most days with my friend” or “I could start bringing a piece of fruit to school to eat in place of getting an order of fries at the cafeteria.”
Personal Diet Evaluation