Nutrition Case Studies
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Case Study 1
Randy, age 36, and his whole family love football. They love to play football and to watch football. Randy played football in college, but now that he has a job at a law firm working many hours, he just plays every once in a while on a Saturday.
In college he was in great shape and could eat anything he wanted. Now he just doesn’t make it to the gym that often and has lost muscle and has been gaining some weight. He is about 6 feet and weighs 250.
Randy and his family also love “meat and potatoes” type food. On the weekend they often barbeque ribs and burgers that are washed down with several beers. During the week, Randy gets coffee and a donut on the way to work and goes to lunch with clients at various restaurants. His wife usually cooks dinner—just like his mom used to.
He knows that he has been gaining some weight but he still feels pretty good. A few years ago his cousin was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Recently Randy’s father was also diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This makes Randy a little nervous and he wonders if there is anything that he can do to prevent or lower his chances of getting cancer as well.
1. Do you think that Randy is at risk for colorectal cancer? Why or why not?
Randy is at rish for colorectal cancer. While it estimates that the contribution of the enviornment in people with colon cancer is 65%, the other 35% is genetic factors, and Randy's cousin, and father have been diagnosed.
2. What dietary advice would you give Randy?
Most types of cancers are related to factors such as high fat and alcohol intakes, Randy displays both of these attributes. His meat and potatoes type food is high in fat, as well as the donut he has every day on his way to work. The lunches out everyday at resturants I'm sure are not the most healthy choices he could be making as well.
I suggest that Randy cuts back on the beers, starts exercising like the did in college, and starts taking in more fruits, and vegtables.
Case Study 2
Debbie just went to the health fair that her work was sponsoring. She is 44 and works as an administrative assistant. At the health fair they checked her weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar. She is 5 foot 4 inches and at the health fair her weight was 145. Her blood pressure was 120/85 and her blood sugar was 130ml/dl.
Debbie is surprised that her blood sugar was high because she doesn’t really eat sweets; she prefers savory treats like chips. Debbie loves to cook and usually eats 3 large meals a day, but rarely eats between meals except for drinking Dr. Pepper. Debbie and her husband do like to go on evening walks around their neighborhood and do so a few nights a week.
The people at the health fair recommended that she visit her doctor and have a complete physical.
1. What do you think the doctor will tell Debbie her diagnosis is?
It is possible that she is a diatbetic. Her sugar is extremly high, so I would run more tests.
2. What other tests do you think the doctor will request?
It is a possibility with her blood sugar elevated the way it is, that she could be diabetic. If her bloodsugar was a fasting one, she could be becoming diabetic.
3. What dietary advice do you think the doctor will recommend?
With a 120/80 blood pressure Debbie exhibits signs of prehypertension. She should watch her salt intake, she said instead of sweets she prefers savory treats, which could be getting at her blood pressure, and could eventaully make it even higher. Three big meals a day, with sugar loaded soda in between is no good. A healthy breakfast, and sensible snacks in between instead of soda, can bring down her sugar. If she is diabetic, low sugar, lower, smarter carb choices are what she needs to be healthy.Exercise not just walks, is also something else I would reccomend.
4. Write a sample menu for one day that you would recommend to Debbie.
egg white omlette with spinach
part skim, mozz. cheese, and an apple
tuna fish with celery, red bell peppers and red onion, sugar free vinegrette, and lettuce
chicken grilled with portobello mushroms in a sugar free vinegrette
lots of water!!
Case Study 3
Ben is 55 and has always been lucky to have a high metabolism and has never had to worry about his weight. He figured that he didn’t have to exercise, and he really doesn’t have time with the long stressful hours at work and lots of out of town travel. Due to the stress of his job, he has started smoking more than normal.
When he went in for his yearly physical, his blood pressure was 140/90. When his labs came back, his cholesterol was 250. Ben has always felt that keeping his weight down would prevent him from having heart disease. He really doesn’t eat much, usually just one meal a day at a restaurant or on the go.
1. Is Ben at risk for hear disease? Why or why not?
Ben is at rish for heart diease. His blood pressure qualifies as hypertension. It's not a diease by itself, but the presense increased the risk of heart disease.
2. What could Ben add to his diet to decrease his risks of heart disease?
He could follow the DASH diet, or something more than just one big meal at a resturant a day, because the resturant meals he's eating are probably high in sodium and fat, a lower salt diet can help. More vegtables, fruits, low-fat dairy and whole grains, poultry and fish could do the trick. Reducing his saturated fat intake can help.
3. Is there anything else that Ben could do to reduce his risk?
While Ben is stressed out with work, it's just a job and it no reason to put your health at rish. If he's that stressed out that he's turning to food and smoking, he should promote his energies to something positive, that will have a healthy outcome, like exercising.
4. What suggestions could you give Ben to have healthier habits while traveling?
Opt. for more healthy choices on the road, or pack a lunch to go on the plane, and make it a point to eat more than once a day, with the correct foods. Make time to exercise at the gym in the hotel, and quit smoking.
Case Study 4
Gayle is 25 and has always been conscientious about her health. She has always struggled with her weight but has been able to maintain her current weight for about 3 years (5’5” and 157 pounds). But, Gayle does feel like she is in good shape and goes to the gym or exercises outside 4-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes depending on how much time she has.
Gayle just graduated from college and has just started teaching at an elementary school. She is a vegetarian so brings her lunch with her everyday which usually contains lot of vegetables and legumes. She also always eats breakfast, usually whole grain cereal with soy milk. For a snack she will usually have some fresh fruit or nuts. She does love sweets and will indulge in a few cookies or a little ice cream almost everyday. Each year at her annual physical her physician tells her that she is in good health.
1. Does Gayle need to worry about being at risk for any chronic diseases?
Being a vegetarian, puts Gayle at a lower rish for diseases such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, chronic bronchitis, gallstones, kidneystones and colon cancer, but Gayle needs to me careful she is getting enough of the Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, calcium, and zinc. While she is overweight, which does put her at an elevated risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, low HDL-cholesterol and other health problems.
2. Would you make any adjustments to Gayle’s diet or exercise program?
Gayle exercises enough, but if I were her physician, I wouldn't be telling her she was in perfect health. To lose a few lbs. since her height and weight puts her at an overweight level, she can cut back on the fat intake of nuts, and the sweets everyday. A lower fat diets, with more vegtables, protein complementing can help. Having the sweets in moderation, not everyday is key.