Demographic information African American female, 5"8", 36 years old, lives in Chicago Il, weight 185 lbs
Does the subject eat fortified foods? No
Does he/she know what a fortified food is? Yes
Can he/she give any examples of fortified foods? Yes. (apples, grapes, broccoli, spinach, corn, homemade food with garlic oil)
Can the subject list foods that contain high amounts of or are good sources of each of the following: vitamin A, D, E, K, and B12 No
Does the subject take a vitamin supplement? No
Why or why not? Too busy working
What resources does the subject use to get most of his/her nutrition information? Ideas from parents to make homemade meals
How many times a week does the subject eat vegetables? Once
How many servings per day? Not sure
Does the subject know what a serving is? No
How does he/she cook vegetables? Steam with butter
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not valued much and 10 being highly valued), ask the subject to rate how valuable health is. 10
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being poor and 10 being great), ask the subject to rate his/her current health status. 6
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being a weak match and 10 being a strong match), ask the subject to rate how well his/her current eating habits line up or match with the value placed on health. 4
Have him/her expand or explain the answer (-------). In this discussion, ask if he/she can identify any barriers to overall health. In other words, if the above scores do not match, why does he/she think that is the case? She thinks it is because most women in her family are obese. She said she loves fried food.
What concerns does the subject have about diet or health, if any? She worries about heart disease.
If the subject were to learn more about nutrition, what specifically would he/she like to learn about, or what would be helpful to him/her in the present situation? Proper eating habits
Report on the interview
Why you think the subject's scores do or do not match
The scores of her current eating habits do not match with the value placed on health because she has poor diet habits. She consumes a lot of fries and does not eat the recommended quantities of vitamins and minerals. Despite a shortage in the consumption of vegetables, she does not compensate with supplements or fortified foods. She also has poor education regarding how to find nutritional information.
The subject said that her barrier to taking vitamin supplements was because she was too busy working. I think that this is not a sufficient reason to prevent one from taking vitamin supplements if they are needed. They can be easily carried, and they hardly interfere with one's daily routine.
She also thinks that her barrier to weight loss is because she comes from a family with obese people. This reason is sufficient since genetics play a crucial role in determining obesity. If your parents are obese, your risk for obesity triples.
Compare the subject's responses compared to the recommendations of a healthy diet
The United States issues Dietary Reference Intakes for each key nutrient in our foods. The DRIs aim at specifying the actual amount of every nutrient that people need to consume each day to prevent diseases, avoid unhealthy excesses, and maintain good health. Consumption of the core macronutrients should be as follows:
- Fats should consist 20%-35% of the daily calorie intake.
- Carbohydrates should comprise 45%-65% of the daily calorie intake.
- Proteins should be 10%-35% of daily calories.
According to the recommended intakes, adults need an average of 2000 calories per day to live a healthy life.1 Consuming the nutrients in the prescribed quantities will make sure that people meet their nutrient and calorie needs to ensure good health.
The subject is an adult female who weighs 185 pounds, and hence she falls within the 2000-calorie range. She eats vegetables once a week while the recommended intake is about 2-3 cups per day. Vegetables are a rich source of minerals and vitamins that are essential to the body. It shows that she is way below the recommendation and missing out on vital nutrients.
She eats a lot of fried food. Unsaturated fats contained in the fried food build up in the body thus increasing the chances of obesity and heart disease. These fats are also in the butter she uses to steam her vegetables. Fat is a good source of energy but consuming too much is unhealthy.
Knowledge of fortified foods, vitamin knowledge, supplements used, the frequency of vegetable consumption, and cooking methods
The subject claims that she knows what fortified foods are but her answers were incorrect. She said that they consisted of items like apples, grapes, broccoli, spinach, corn, and homemade food with garlic oil. Fortified foods are processed products that have been enhanced with the addition of nutrients and vitamins. Fortified foods can be used as part of a healthy diet to offer added nutrition as needed. However, people should consume fortified foods while maintaining a balance with other core food sources. A highly fortified diet puts people at the risk of overconsuming the nutrients.
The subject does not use supplements. Many people in America use mineral and vitamin pills to supplement their diets. However, these should not be a core part of the daily intake since they lack the phytochemicals that help the body in fighting disease, among other essential substances. They should only be used by people who are unable to meet their nutrient requirements by eating a regular diet.
Since the subject does not consume fortified foods or supplements, she should ensure that she consumes sufficient vegetables to reach the recommended intake of vitamins and nutrients. However, the preparation of the vegetables is crucial since it can decrease or increase the vitamin payload of the meal. Plain-steaming vegetables is better than using cream or steaming with butter. The subject steamed her vegetables with butter but this increases the calories while reducing the vitamins. 1 cup of creamed spinach contains 180 calories and 2,000 IU vitamin A while steamed spinach has 54 calories and 14,790 IU vitamin A.
Sources for nutritional information
The subject does not use credible sources of nutritional information. She gets her ideas from her parents on how to make home-cooked meals. Reliable sources need to have research or evidence to prove their claims. Parents are people who just followed in the steps of previous generations hence if they are used to eating unhealthy products, the knowledge will be passed on. Some examples of credible sources include journals, books, and government websites.
Influence on the subject's behavior
The subject's behavior is influenced by a lack of education. She does not understand what fortified foods are and mistakes them for natural products. She cannot list the foods that contain essential vitamins and does not know what a serving contains.
Her behavior has also been influenced by her family. She gets her nutritional information from the ideas drawn from her parents at home, and it influences her eating habits. She thinks that her family is the reason for her overweight state.
It appears that a busy lifestyle also prevents her from maintaining a healthy eating routine. She said that she is often too busy to take supplements. She does not research on nutrition information ye she is aware of the importance of good health. She knows that her eating habits do not match well with the dietary recommendations.
Role a public health nutritionist
A public health nutritionist is an expert on matters of food and proper nutrition. The role of a public health nutritionist is to advise people, like the subject, on appropriate diet and eating habits and why it is important. Such people are at risk of disease and other problems associated with poor nutrition which deprives the body of essential elements.
The roles include customization of health information to match local communities and living standards. A nutritionist would teach the subject on how to prepare vegetables and the recommended daily portions.
They would also recommend a diet plan based on the weight and age of the subject. The information offered by public health nutritionists helps people to avoid lifestyle diseases that come about due to poor eating habits.
Subject's concerns and interests
The subject was concerned about the risk of heart disease. Her worries are relevant to her lifestyle since she does not observe proper nutrition guidelines. She consumes a considerable amount of fries which contain unsaturated fats that increase the risk of heart disease. Steaming her vegetables with butter also means that she adds unnecessary calories to her diet that are stored as fat, which increases the risk of heart disease. She is interested in learning proper diet and eating habits to help in maintaining healthy body weight and overall health.
My specific recommendation for the subject is that she should stop using butter while steaming her vegetables. Butter increases unnecessary calories while locking essential vitamins. She should steam her vegetables plain to ensure that she gets essential vitamins while minimizing the calories.
I would also recommend that she find new sources of nutrition information that offer credible information on improving one's diet.
Blake JS, Munoz KD, Volpe S. Nutrition: From Science to You. 4th ed. Boston, MA. Pearson; 2019. ISBN: 9780134668260
Uauy R. Understanding public health nutrition. The Lancet. 2007;370(9584):309-310. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(07)61145-3
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