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Dietary Assessment, Analysis & Action Case Study

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Updated: May 14th, 2022

In this assessment, Australian Dietary Guidelines for a female aged between 31 and 50 and is approximately 1.7m tall is used. In addition, the guideline takes into consideration a female that has an inactive lifestyle with no vigorous physical activity, and, in most cases, is seated in an office doing her work. These descriptions closely match Angela’s, who is 34 years old and is 166m tall. She is not involved in physical activity since her work makes her seated in an office most of the time. The meal plan used here was intended to be used as a guide and is in line with recommended dietary consumptions. The guidelines recommend that a woman of Angela’s age should take 4 to 9 servings of cereals group per day, five servings of vegetable or legume group, two servings from fruits, two servings of milk and yogurt group, and one serving from proteins such as lean meat, eggs, and fish (Gibson, 2005). Considering Angela’s servings, there are four servings of bread and cereal group, two vegetable servings, one fruit serving, four servings of the milk, cheese, and yogurt group, and five serving from lean meat, cheese, ham, Turkish bread, and banana bread.

Angela consumes 15,912 KJ of energy, 106.2g of proteins, 169.1g of fats, 452.2g of carbohydrate, and 6229g of sodium in a single day. The nutritional reference values for energy, protein, fats, carbohydrates, and sodium, according to Australian Dietary guidelines, should be 7,911.8KJ of energy, 107.2g of proteins, 249.65g of carbohydrate, 59g of fats, and 1,588mg of sodium, for a female who leads a sedentary lifestyle, aged 32 years, approximately 1.7m tall, and weighs approximately 63Kg. From this comparison, Angela consumes excess kilojoules of energy, carbohydrates, fats, and sodium. The Nutrient Reference values indicated in the Australian Dietary guidelines only provide an approximate nutrient consumption for an individual and the values given are recommended to meet the nutrient requirements for the majority of the population. However, since it is quite challenging to analyze every person’s exact requirements, it is recommended that an individual target the higher figure to ensure that an appropriate amount of nutrients are obtained from the foods. Even though this is taken into consideration, the daily intake of fats, carbohydrates, and sodium is still very high as compared to the provided guidelines for a person whose description matches Angela’s. Overconsumption of food can cause several health complications (Lee & Nieman, 2010).

An intake that is in line with the Australian Guidelines for healthy consumption recommends that an individual should eat fresh foods and try to evade diets containing excess fats, salts, and sugar. The main objective of this guide is to encourage healthy eating all through life. This is important in reducing the risk of health complications in future life. Some of the health complications that could be experienced include heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and being overweight. Australian Guidelines for healthy eating recommend that a woman aged between 31 and 50, should consume 7,911.8KJ of energy, 107.2g of proteins, 249.65g of carbohydrate, 59g of fats, and 1,588mg of sodium. This is because the body requires approximately 8,550KJ of energy per day. Thus the body will not use excess food for energy production, rather they will be stored fats in the body contributing to an increase in body weight. However, an Assessment of Angela’s daily consumption indicates that she consumes 15,912 KJ of energy, 106.2g of proteins, 169.1g of fats, 452.2g of CHO, and 6229g of sodium in a single day. This shows that she consumes excess carbohydrates, fats, and sodium (Brown, 2008).

Carbohydrates are very useful for providing the essential energy for body processes and activities. Foods that contain carbohydrates include bread, cereals, grains, rice, and pasta, amongst many others. According to the Australian Guidelines for Healthy eating, someone like Angela should take four to nine servings from the carbohydrate group of foods. Even though Angela takes four servings from this group, the quality of her servings contains excessive amounts of carbohydrates. For instance, the total amount of carbohydrates in the servings should be 249.65g, while the total Angela’s servings contain 452.2g, which indicates an excess of about 200g.

Excess consumption of carbohydrates is harmful to the body in several ways. First, excess carbohydrates could cause obesity since they are stored as fats. Accumulation of fats in the body results in being overweight. In the long run, dietary carbohydrates could also result in cardiovascular disease attacks through their influence on Insulin reaction. The insulin hormone operates optimally when an individual consumes the correct amount of carbohydrates. However, fluctuations in carbohydrate consumption, comprising of excessive consumption can decrease the sensitivity of the body to insulin. A reduction in insulin sensitivity could result in diabetes mellitus attack, which could adversely impact an individual’s life.

Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend two servings of dairy products and foods rich in fats. In addition, the quality of fats consumed should be restricted to between 20% and 35% and should not contain more than 10 percent fats obtained from saturated fats. Analysis of Angela’s servings shows that she has four servings of foods rich in fats. These include cheese, Mayonnaise, ice cream, and margarine. The total consumption of fats is 169.1gas compared to the recommended 59g.

Excessive fats in the body pose serious health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, too much fat in the body is linked to high cholesterol levels, which makes an individual susceptible to arteriosclerosis. This disease results in the constricting of the arteries, which could cause the critical body organs to be deprived of blood. Furthermore, the heart has to work extra hard to transfer blood to all parts of the body, which could increase blood pressure. High blood pressure could cause several health complications like heart attack and stroke, which can be fatal. According to Collman (2001), about a quarter of cardiovascular and blood vessel complications can be linked directly to obesity.

Angela’s diet comprises five servings from proteins that include, mainly, meat pie, cheese, ham, Turkish bread, and banana bread. However, Australian dietary guidelines recommend two to three servings of proteins. This implies that Angela consumes more than the recommended servings of proteins. Excess proteins could be stored in the body and converted to fats leading to obesity. This could pose serious health problems associated with obesity. Besides, excessive consumption of proteins could result in several health complications. For instance, excessive proteins could result in body dehydration since the metabolism of proteins needs more water use and removal of its by-products. Research also proves that excessive protein consumption results in proliferation in the decline in urinary calcium. A prolonged calcium loss, because of excessive protein consumption, is of great concern since it could upsurge the danger of osteoporosis, particularly in women. Typically, kidneys function to eliminate extra waste from the human body. Proteins produce by-products, like uric acids, that should be removed from the body. Consuming too many proteins implies that more by-products are produced that need to be removed from the body via the kidney, which results in overworking of the kidney, which can cause irrevocable, permanent damage to kidneys.

The first step towards the modification of the current intake involves careful analysis of the current diet to determine what should and should not be consumed. Analysis should take into consideration the contents of specific foods. Dietary guidelines can as well be used to find out the recommended consumption of various classes of foods. One such important dietary guideline is provided by the Australian dietary guidelines. Comparing the provisions of the guidelines against the current consumption can help to identify the major disparities that need to be corrected. The second step involves developing a proper dietary plan based on that kind of analysis. In addition, a dietician could as well help in developing a more suitable dietary plan. An appropriate dietary plan should comprise all kinds of foods in their right proportions. Proper implementation of the plan will result in modification of the present dietary intake (Wheelock, 1997). Even though implementing a proper dietary plan could sometimes prove quite challenging, with proper discipline the final objective will be realized. Angela should take care to confirm the food contents labeled on packed foods bought from supermarkets to avoid over-consuming certain types of foods.

References

Brown, E. (2008). Nutrition through the life cycle. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Collman, P. (2001). Naturally dangerous: Surprising facts about food, health, and the environment. Sausalito, Calif: University Science.

Gibson, S. (2005). Principles of nutritional assessment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lee, D & Nieman, C. (2010). Nutritional assessment. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill.

Wheelock, V. (1997). Implementing dietary guidelines for healthy eating. London: Blackie Academic & Professional

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