An Analysis of Food Consumption Patterns Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Food Log to Monitor Calorie Intake

Introduction/Purpose/Statement of Problem

Many Western nations are experiencing an obesity epidemic while at the same time many consumers are suffering from eating disorders that adversely affect their ability to consume sufficient calories and nutrients in their diets. Therefore, it is important to determine if individual eating patterns are providing the appropriate amount of nutrition while avoiding too many fats and excess proteins. It was the hypothesis of this study that the author receives an appropriate amount of calories (target goal 2,000 calories/day) in his diet based on the use of a food log maintained for each meal during this time frame to track consumption patterns.

Methods/Procedure

The dietary analysis was conducted over the course of 3-day period (May 24 through May 26, 2016) because these days represented typical mid-week consumption patterns. Using the food log and food groups and calorie reports shown in Table 1 below, it was determined that my mid-week consumption patterns provided insufficient quantities of vegetables, while the target goal for whole grains was under but the target goal for refined grains was over.

Table 1

Meals from 05/24/16-05/26/16

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

05/24/16

1 mug (8 fl oz) Coffee, brewed, regular

1 medium (2-1/2" across) Hamburger bun, white

2 cup, slices Beets, canned, low sodium, no fat added

EMPTY

3 large egg(s) Egg, boiled

3 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

3 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

3 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

05/25/16

1 mug (8 fl oz) Coffee, brewed, regular

1 double cheeseburger Double hamburger (2 patties), on bun

2 medium burrito Burrito with beef, no beans

EMPTY

4 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

3 large egg(s) Egg, boiled

4 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

4 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

05/26/16

1 cup Orange juice, calcium added, carton, can, or bottle

3 medium (2-5/8" across) Oranges, raw

1 pizza (10" across) Pizza, with pepperoni, thick crust

EMPTY

2 large egg(s) Scrambled eggs (milk added), with ham or bacon, cooked with nonstick spray

4 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

4 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

4 cup (8 fl oz) Water, tap

The food log was maintained on a digital spreadsheet and updated after each meal. The respective amounts of calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein were calculated using data from the product information labels, prorated if necessary.

Results/Data

A comparison table with the amount of nutrients consumed versus those required for the author's age and weight is provided at Appendix A.

Discussion

Perhaps the overarching factor learned from recording consumption patterns was the fact that it is entirely possible to consume too many calories while failing to consume sufficient amounts of protein and vice versa (Wahowiak, 2010). In this case, it was surprising to learn that the target goal of 2,000 calories a day was achieved by consuming too much protein in the form of eggs. Based on the findings that emerged from the analysis of collected data, it would be in my best interests to limit my consumption of eggs in the future and use an alternative protein/calorie It should also be noted that consumption patterns differ on weekends compared to this midweek food log, a tendency that is commonplace among students ((McDuffie & George, 2009) and that meals are usually skipped three to four times a week, a tendency which is not reflected in the food log. In addition, budgetary restrictions and work demands also interfere with optimal consumption patterns. Other findings that emerged from the research included the 9 to 11 ratio between highly processed and unprocessed foods that I consume and the first thing that I would change about my diet would be to eat more nutritional foods on a regular basis.

Conclusions

Some people live to eat while others eat to live, and finding a healthy balance between these two extremes can make the difference between consuming appropriate levels of fats, carbohydrates and calories. In either case, achieving this balance can be especially challenging for people with demanding schedules that prevent them from taking the time to practice healthier eating habits.

References

McDuffie, T. E. & George, R. J. (2009,…

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