Week 3: Evaluating Nutrition

Published by Brenda I. Belcher

Apr 4, 2021

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Week 3: Evaluating Nutrition

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.
—Hippocrates (ca. 460–370 BC)

In the early 1600s, British doctors suggested that sailors stock up on citrus fruits to prevent scurvy on their long voyages. Scientists later isolated vitamin C, found in the fruits, as the primary ingredient in preventing the disease.

If you have a sore muscle or itchy skin, a doctor might suggest a cream with the active ingredient capsaicin. Capsaicin, a compound found naturally in foods, is the component that makes hot peppers hot.

These are just two examples of how the body uses the vitamins and minerals in food. Scientists continue to discover how compounds and nutrients like vitamin C and capsaicin can prevent disease and keep bodies functioning. Researchers, news stories, and advertisements proclaim the benefits of optional vitamin and mineral products. How much does the body truly need? What affects these requirements? Is adding nutrients to water the answer to getting them into diets? In this week, you will learn about the role of vitamins, minerals, and water in keeping a body healthy and how enzymes help the body process these nutrients.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Apply observational data to develop and test a hypothesis
  • Apply the scientific method to a specific problem
  • Apply the MyDietAnalysis program to track and analyze food choices
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how vitamins, minerals, and water contribute to health
  • Synthesize awareness of one’s dietary choices and how these can result in improved eating habits*

*This Learning Objective is explored in Week 3 and will be completed in Week 5.


Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Thompson, J., & Manore, M. (2015). Nutrition for life (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Benjamin Cummings.

  • Chapter 6, “Vitamins: Micronutrients with Macro Powers” (pp. 155–191)In this chapter, the authors detail the roles of different vitamins and how the body uses them. Also outlined are the differences between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, the role of antioxidants, and how cancer grows in the body.
  • Chapter 7, “Minerals: Building and Moving Our Bodies” (pp. 192–224)In Chapter 7, you see how individual minerals work in the body, their sources, and how blood transports these nutrients.
  • Chapter 8, “Fluid Balance, Water, and Alcohol” (pp. 225–249)Water makes up more than half the body. In Chapter 8, you will learn what water does for the body, how it is lost, and good sources for replenishing it. This chapter also discusses how alcohol affects the body.

Exploratorium. (2016). Institute for Inquiry: Examining the art of science education. Retrieved from http://www.exploratorium.edu/education/ifi
You will use this resource for this week’s Assignment.
Katan, M. B. (2007). Does industry sponsorship undermine the integrity of nutrition research? PLoS Medicine, 4(1), e6UC Berkeley Library. (2016). Critical evaluation. Evaluating Resources: Home. Retrieved from http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/evaluating-resourcesDocument: To Generate and Save a Report (Word document)

Optional Resources

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2016). Eat right. Retrieved from http://www.eatright.org/American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2016). Integrity in scientific research video series. Retrieved from http://www.aaas.org/page/integrity-scientific-research-video-seriesCenters for Disease Control. (n.d.). Water & nutrition: Basics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/Edmund, N. W. (2011). The scientific method today. Retrieved from http://www.scientificmethod.com/United States Department of Agriculture. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.fns.usda.gov/World Health Organization. (2016). Nutrition: Nutrition health topics. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/en/


Looking Ahead

Final Project Milestone: Submitting Steps 1–3

This week, your MyDietAnalysis Report (Steps 1–3 of your Final Project) is due by Day 7.

Refer to this week’s Project area for detailed instructions about how to prepare for and submit your work.


Assignment: The Scientific Method

Have you ever had a problem that you needed to solve, or a question that you needed to answer? Scientists have this dilemma all the time and use the scientific method to solve problems and answer questions. The scientific method was developed to standardize scientific research. This clearly defined process to evaluate data and propose new ideas ensures that research has been properly conducted and analyzed. Further, the scientific method allows for reproduction of the experiment by other researchers and should lead to the same results every time.

For this week’s Assignment, you will be asked to apply the scientific method related to an observation you can make in your own life.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review your course text, paying particular attention to content related to the scientific method and who you can trust to help you choose foods wisely.
  • Also review the Institute for Inquiry website in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider a case in your own life where you could use the scientific method, or elements of the scientific method, to solve a problem. Think about observations you make on a daily basis that are related to nutrition. This may include how many alcohol commercials play during sporting events on the television, how many coworkers bring sack lunches for lunch versus take-out or frozen lunches, or the number of sugary cereal commercials that play during cartoons on Saturday mornings, for example.
  • Choose an observation related to nutrition that you would like to investigate by using the scientific method.
  • From your observation, propose a hypothesis. For example, “More alcohol commercials play during a basketball game on the television than during a made-for-TV romantic drama.”
  • After you have determined your hypothesis, observe and collect data that will help you support or disprove your hypothesis. (For the example hypothesis, this would include watching a basketball game and recording the number of alcohol commercials played during that game and then watching a made-for-TV romantic drama and recording the number of alcohol commercials that play during that program.)

The Assignment (2 pages):

  • Write a 2-page, double-spaced paper in which you apply the scientific method to observation and data analysis and test your hypothesis based on your observations. Please make sure that your paper contains all of the following headers:
    • Abstract: This is a brief, 150-word summary of the entire paper, including the results you found. This does not need to contain citations.
    • Introduction: The introduction is a statement of why you decided to conduct your research study and what information it has the potential to contribute to the scientific world. Be sure to include any background information important for the reader to understand your study. Also, be sure to identify clearly your hypothesis statement. (1–2 paragraphs)
    • Methods and Materials: Describe the process you went through to collect your data in detail, including minor elements that may be relevant, like time or day, or anything important for the reader to understand your data collection methods. (1–2 paragraphs)
    • Results and Conclusion: Provide the results of your data, either in tabular form or written out as part of the essay. Also, be sure to interpret your results clearly and provide your reasoning on whether you can or cannot support your original hypothesis. Remember, even results that do not support your original hypothesis are a good contribution to science! (1–2 paragraphs)
  • Remember to include citations, especially in your Introduction and Conclusion. It is important to support your ideas by citing relevant research or scientific concepts.
  • Use at least two APA-formatted references. Submit your paper with double spacing in 12-point Times New Roman.

If you have questions about this Assignment, please post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor’s response.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK3Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 3 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 3 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK3Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 3 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 3 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7

To submit your Assignment:Week 3 Assignment


Project: Final Project Milestone: MyDietAnalysis Reports

By the end of this week, you should have recorded your 3-day food journal, entered the information into the MyDietAnalysis program, and generated two reports from the MyDietAnalysis program: Actual Intakes vs. Recommended Intakes and an Activity Summary. This week’s Final Project Milestone is submitted for a grade and will also give you the opportunity to consult with your Instructor for guidance, if necessary.

To prepare for this Project:

  • Complete Steps 1–3 of the Final Project.

The Project:

  • Submit your two MyDietAnalysis reports. The two reports are:
    • Actual Intakes vs. Recommended Intakes
    • Activity Summary

For instructions on how to generate and save a report, refer to the Required Resources document, “To Generate and Save a Report.”

Questions about this Assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor’s response.

By Day 7

Submit your Project.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Project for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Project using the naming convention “WK3Proj+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 3 Project Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Project.
  • Click the Week 3 Project link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK3Proj+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 3 Project Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 3 Project draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Project by Day 7

To submit your Project:Week 3 Project


Quiz

This 20-question, multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank quiz will assess how well you can apply the information in this week’s assigned readings.

About the quiz:

  • The quiz has a 2-hour time limit.
  • You may take the quiz as many times as you need in order to achieve a passing score.
  • If you encounter technical difficulties during the quiz or if you have questions about how a quiz works in your online classroom, contact the Student Support Team for more information. (The team’s contact information is in the Student Support area.)

By Day 7

Complete this week’s quiz.

Submission and Grading Information

Submit Your Quiz by Day 7

To submit your Quiz:Week 3 Quiz


Week in Review

This week, you applied the scientific method to a particular problem, including observational data, in order to develop and test a hypothesis. You also had an opportunity to use the MyDietAnalysis program to track and analyze food choices.

Next week, you will learn about the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight and the negative effect of obesity and

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