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Week 5: Lifecycle Nutrition

April 4, 2021
Brenda I. Belcher

Week 5: Lifecycle Nutrition

Have you ever purchased a “one size fits all” clothing item? While the concept is good, it rarely actually works out, since our bodies can vary significantly. Much like well-fitting clothing, nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Done correctly, it is highly customized to the individual’s needs.

Age, genetics, and phase of life all play a role in determining what the body needs. A teenage athlete may need more calories than a sedentary senior citizen. A pregnant woman has higher iron requirements than a non-pregnant woman. A man with high risk for heart disease may want to stock up on foods rich in healthy fats.

In this week’s Learning Resources, you will read about the changing requirements for vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and activity for different stages of life. Think about this week’s content in terms of your own lifecycle nutrition needs.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze findings from the MyDietAnalysis program
  • Synthesize findings to course information
  • Recommend dietary modifications to meet daily nutritional requirements
  • Demonstrate knowledge of changing nutritional needs throughout the life cycle
  • Support how awareness of one’s dietary choices can result in improved eating habits

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Pearson. (2016). MyDietAnalysis. Retrieved from https://media.pearsoncmg.com/bc/abp/mydietanalysis/

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

  • Chapter 11, “Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle” (pp. 326–367)The authors describe how nutrition and healthy habits are important throughout all stages of life. They detail the changing nutrition needs from prior to conception, throughout pregnancy, childhood, teen years, adulthood, and senior years.

Utilize the specific United States Department of Agriculture web pages below to support your knowledge of lifecycle nutrition.United States Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Library: Food and Nutrition Information Center. (2016). Lifecycle nutrition. Retrieved from http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/lifecycle-nutritionNutrition.gov. (2016). Life stages. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition.gov/life-stagesWalden University. (2015h). Writing Center: Walden templates: Overview. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/templates
Click on “General Templates” and then APA Course Paper Template with Advice (6th ed.) under “Course Paper.” This template will help you format your Final Project paper correctly. You will use this template to write the paper for your Final Project, due by Day 7 of this week.

Optional Resources

HelpGuide.org. (2016b). Healthy food for kids: Nutrition tips for children and teens. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/nutrition-for-children-and-teens.htmHelpGuide.org. (2016a). Eating well as you age: Nutrition and diet tips for healthy eating as you age. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/eating-well-as-you-age.htmNIH Senior Health. (n.d.). Eating well as you get older: Benefits of eating well. Retrieved from http://nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder/benefitsofeatingwell/01.html

Looking Ahead:

Final Project Milestone: Submitting Your Final Project

Your Final Project is due by Day 7 of this week. Refer to this week’s Project area for detailed instructions about how to prepare for and submit your Final Project.

Project: Final Project: Analyze Your Diet With MyDietAnalysis

For the past 4 weeks, you have been learning how the science of nutrition affects the health of the human body. The MyDietAnalysis program provided the opportunity to analyze your own nutrition habits and apply the lessons from this course.

Now, in your Final Project, you will provide a detailed analysis of your findings from the MyDietAnalysis program, correlate those findings to course information, and recommend dietary modifications to meet your daily nutritional requirements.

To prepare for this Final Project:

  • Review your completed Final Project Milestones.
  • Think about how you eat and what you eat.
  • Consider the changes you could make to improve your health.

The Final Project:

  • Write a 4- to 6-page formal report that analyzes your 3-day diet using the MyDietAnalysis program. You will specify the total values of dietary intake for various vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds. You will also evaluate the effectiveness of this 3-day diet and recommend modifications that may be needed to meet daily requirements. Your Final Project should include all of the steps taken to complete this project. This includes:
    • Title Page
    • Introduction
    • Part I
      • Steps 1–3
      • Your 3-day diet written out and given motivation codes
      • Your Actual Intakes vs. Recommended Intakes and Activity Summary reports
    • Part II
      • Step 4
      • 4–6 pages analyzing your diet
    • References

As a reminder, here is a more detailed description of each of the Final Project Steps:

Final Project Steps

Step 1: Record everything you eat and drink for 3 days in a row.

  • Record all the foods and beverages you consume over the course of 3 days. The best 3 days to choose are 2 weekdays and a weekend day, although it is your decision as to which days contain the most “normal” food consumption for you. Do not alter your normal eating pattern.
  • In a lab notebook or food diary, record the amount of food and beverages consumed, including water. Do not record any mineral or vitamin supplements. Do record protein supplements.
  • Be sure to describe each food completely. This includes brand names, ingredients in a recipe, etc. For homemade items, be sure to record portions of all the components in your food, because you will input them separately if no comparable meal can be found in MyDietAnalysis.
  • Record any exercise you perform.
  • Make note of how you feel physically and emotionally after you eat a specific food or meal. Great insight can be gained by closely observing how your body reacts to foods.

Step 2: Organize your recorded information.

  • Type each day’s food and beverages into the menu form: breakfast, snack, lunch, etc. Include everything from your food diary or lab notebook and record them separated by day.
  • Label each item on your menu with the code or codes that indicate why you chose to eat that food or drink that beverage.
APersonal preference (I like it.)
BHabit or tradition (It’s familiar; I always eat it.)
CSocial pressure (It was offered; I couldn’t refuse.)
DAvailability (I was hungry and it was nearby.)
EConvenience (I was too rushed to prepare anything else.)
FEconomy (It was a food I could afford.)
GHealth value (I think it is healthy for me to eat.)
IOther (explain)

Step 3: Enter your organized diet information into the MyDietAnalysis program.

  • Enter the foods you ate into the MyDietAnalysis program.
  • Be sure to create a new profile to reflect your recorded information. The program will ask you questions about yourself—be honest! It is important to capture your true self for MyDietAnalysis to be accurate and representative of your needs.
  • After you have created your profile, click on the DIET TRACKER tab at the top of the program.
  • Enter your foods as accurately as possible. Do this for each new day and save changes when finished.
  • Next, click on the ACTIVITY TRACKER and record any additional exercise you may have completed above and beyond your profile’s activity level. (For example, if you are sedentary and you walk the dog, realize that this activity is included in the sedentary profile. However, if you run for 10 minutes this should be added as additional exercise.)
  • Finally, click on the REPORTS tab.
  • Download the Actual Intakes vs. Recommended Intakes and the Activity Summary reports as PDF documents. This information will be included in your final report.

Steps 1–3 will be due by Day 7 of Week 3.

Step 4: Analyze your diet in a formal report.

Include the following information:

  1. List any vitamins and minerals that averaged less than 100% of the RDA.
  2. For each vitamin or mineral that averaged less than 100% of the RDA, suggest two foods that would increase the amount of that nutrient in your diet.
    • Why did you pick those foods? Are they realistic to YOUR diet?
    • Suggest ways you would incorporate them directly into your diet.
  3. How many grams of fiber did you consume per day?
    • What is the recommended intake per day?
    • If you ate less than the recommended daily intake, how could you realistically increase your fiber?
    • If you ate more than the recommendation, what are the foods in your diet that are contributing to this total?
    • Please be sure to describe the differences between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
  4. How many different fruits, vegetables, and grains did you consume daily?
    • Could your diet benefit from more diversity? Why?
    • What are some of the reasons fruits and vegetables are hard to include in your diet? Is it because of past memories of eating them? Taste? If you love fruits and vegetables, can you offer an idea why others may not?
    • What is it about fruits and vegetables that make them so nutritious? Discuss three major components of these foods and why they are beneficial.
  5. What have you learned about your eating habits? Pay attention to the codes you assigned to your foods.
  6. Provide your overall observations of your diet. Summarize your codes and reflect on what is your major driving force when it comes to food.
  7. Describe any changes that you have made or plan to make as a result of this exercise. Provide a detailed answer to receive full credit. Answers such as “I plan to eat more fruits and vegetables” without a clear plan will not be awarded full points.

Directions for formatting your Final Project report:

  • Keep all data in one file (unless different formats do not allow them to be together in one file).
  • Cite at least three APA-formatted scientific references. You do not need to reference your values from MyDietAnalysis. (In other words, if you consumed 5000mg of sodium, you don’t need to reference that.)
  • Be sure to complete the assignment in complete essay form. (Do not write the question and then the answer—use full paragraphs.) The 4- to 6-page requirement does notinclude your charts and motivation codes.
  • Use double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman, and APA format. Page count is 4–6 pages. A template for this paper can be found at the Walden Writing Center. Click on the plus sign next to Course Paper and then click on the APA Course Paper Template with Advice (6th ed.). This template will help you format your Final Project paper correctly.

By Day 7

Submit your Final 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 “WK5Proj+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 5 Project Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Project.
  • Click the Week 5 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 “WK5Proj+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 5 Project Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 5 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Project by Day 7

To submit your Project:Week 5 Project


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 5 Quiz

Week in Review

This week, you recommended dietary modifications to meet daily nutritional requirements. You also analyzed findings from the MyDietAnalysis program. In addition, you identified the changing nutritional needs throughout the life cycle and synthesized all of your findings in the course information.

In the final week, you will explore food safety and ways to decrease the risk of food-borne illness.

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