Healthy Eating Observation


  1. Discuss the  observational findings in the discussion post. Explain why you agree or disagree with the evaluation, using in-text citations. When you agree with a statement or a suggestion, you must explain why using details. If you disagree with a statement, be sure to cite reasons and back them up with appropriate sources.
  • Think about health priorities for this individual as well as health concerns. Offer additional, specific suggestions or changes. This response must be detailed by discussing calories, specific vitamins and minerals, and concerns
  • Address or elaborate on your classmates’ suggestions related to the role of a public health nutritionist.

Each reply must be a minimum of 200–300 words.

Discussion 1:

Subject: Adolescent.

Demographic: 8 years, female.

Location: Subjects kitchen.

Foods eaten: Jerk chicken breast (baked), kidney beans, cauliflower rice.

Portion sizes: 3oz boneless and skinless chicken breast, ¼ cup kidney beans, ¼ cup cauliflower rice.


            Subject has extensive environmental and food allergies limiting dairy, wheat, soy, sesame, peanut and more. She also suffers from chronic constipation not related to food consumption but due to lack of muscle control in her rectum. DRI recommends adolescents 4-8 years old consume 130g carbs, 19g protein, 25g fiber and fat is not determined.1 Her meal equated to 21.2g of protein almost meeting the daily goals, 12g carbs leaving her below the 1/3 mark for her meal, and 4g fiber also leaving her below 1/3 of her daily intake. School-age children, usually considered those between the ages of 6 and 12, still have plenty of growing to do, and the quality of their diet affects their growth.1 The legumes are a pretty nutrient dense food providing the subject with potassium, calcium, and iron while low in kilocalories. Nutrient-dense foods are low in saturated fat and added sugars.1 Her meal appears to be pretty healthy but maybe too low in carbohydrates. Without proper analysis of all foods consumed daily it’s hard to see if she’s meeting recommended amounts through other meals daily. The main source of calories in her meal was obtained from the chicken. Growth must be supported with adequate energy and nutrients; however, given the complex relationship between puberty and obesity, youth should take care to avoid excess weight gain.1 Exercising for this subject is a delicate process due to her asthma. In order to avoid childhood obesity, I would recommend consuming nutrient dense foods and not exceeding the recommended kilocalories while trying to provide exercise in an indoor environment.

Specific suggestions for improvement:

            I would suggest that the subject’s parents increase carbohydrates in her dinner to meet her daily recommended amounts. However, this is just a small glance at a small portion of her daily intake, so she could be consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates in her earlier meals. Watching the consumption of protein throughout the day also to not overly exceed recommended amounts. I would also recommend limiting snacks and increasing nutrient dense foods throughout the day.

Role of a public health nutritionist:

            If the parents of the adolescent were seeking guidance from me for their child’s dietary needs I would have them create a diary of foods she eats throughout the week, portion sizes, and list all restrictions due to allergies. I then would compile a list of suggested foods, quantities and exercise based on the adolescent’s daily needs. In addition, I would include child friendly recipes and fun ways to reach all macronutrients and micronutrients.

Discussion 2:

I observed a 93 year old African American woman eating her lunch.  My subject was born in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. She currently resides in Portsmouth, Virginia.  I gained oral consent from my subject and explained to her the reason for my observation.  The observation took place at an adult day support program which is also my current place of employment. The subject was receiving occupational therapy; she was working on her activities of daily living with the occupational therapist.

The subject’s  plate consisted of turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans.  The dessert was a piece of chocolate cake with vanilla icing with a cup of grape juice. There was approximately 4 oz of turkey, a cup of mashed potatoes and a cup of green beans.  The cake was a very small piece of cake.

Older adult require less kilocalories but the nutrients needs remains important.  My subject still needs to consume protein to minimize the loss of lean tissue, immune function, and wound healing.  Older adults should consume nutrient-dense and high in fiber carbohydrates; should consume 45-65 percent of their total daily energy from carbs.

For older adults, fat consumption provides most of the kilocalories.  The diet should be limited in saturated fats, tran fats in order to lessen risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Hydration is very important for older adults, aging decreases the body’s ability to conserve water.  In addition, many other factors contributes susceptibility to dehydration.  Older adults should eating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables. The fluid requirement for older adults is same as younger people

Older adults are more susceptible to toxicity when the consumption of preformed vitamin A is exceeded. So a multivitamin should have consist of beta-carotene instead of retinol.  The skin’s ability to use sunlight to initiate vitamin D production declines with age 1.  The RDA for vitamin D increases from 600 IU to 800 IU at age 71. The vitamin B12 RDA doesn’t change but with aging, the body doesn’t properly absorb the vitamin from foods. Older adult should consume more fortified foods to receive adequate B12

Minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and sodium should be consumed must be consumed in the proper amount during older age.  Postmenopausal women needs less dietary iron (8 mg/day) than younger women. Calcium needs increase to 1,200 mg/day for women over 50 and 1,000 mg/day for man over 50.

My subject consumed a decent meal that provided her with a great deal of nutrients. I would suggest that didn’t have the cake because of the lack of nutritional value.  I would also suggest that my subject should have consumed a piece of fruit or had a glass of water with her lunch. A public health nutritionist could provide knowledge to my subject that better explains the importance of proper diet.  A nutritionist could explain how aging changes the way our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals. 

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