complete the following two-part activity (adapted from Exhibit 3 in Chapter 3 of your textbook).
- Identify a person willing to answer some questions about his or her eating habits over the past 24 hours. (Keep in mind that, ideally, you will be able to interact with an older adult for this activity; thus, you should not use yourself or a classmate as your “participant.”) Next, create a table or list to record information (refer to Exhibit 3 in your textbook). Then, ask the following questions of your participant:
- What foods or drinks did you consume?
- How much did you eat? (i.e., not enough, a reasonable amount, too much)
- Where did you eat? (e.g., home, office, car)
- Who with? (e.g., a family member, friend, alone)
- What were you doing? (i.e., activity)
- What was your emotional state? (e.g., happy, sad, anxious)
- Take some time to reflect on the information you have collected, then address the following critical elements:
- Provide specific and detailed information regarding the participant’s eating habits for Questions A through F (above).
- Describe barriers to change that might exist for this participant.
- Describe barriers to change that might relate specifically to age. (In the case of a younger participant: What new barriers might this participant face as he or she ages?)
- Explain why it is difficult to change health behavior, using food and diet as an example.
- Describe some parallels to your own eating habits. (What barriers to change exist in your life?) Use examples from the readings in your explanation.
Expert Solution Preview
In this activity, I conducted an interview with an individual in order to gather information about their eating habits over the past 24 hours. The purpose of this activity is to analyze the participant’s eating habits, identify barriers to change, explore age-related barriers, understand the difficulties of changing health behavior related to food and diet, and reflect on personal eating habits. Let’s address each question separately.
A. What foods or drinks did you consume?
The participant reported consuming a variety of foods and drinks in the past 24 hours. Their intake included a breakfast consisting of oatmeal, berries, and a cup of black coffee. For lunch, they had a chicken salad with mixed greens, vegetables, and a low-fat dressing. In the afternoon, they snacked on a handful of almonds and an apple. Their dinner included grilled salmon, roasted vegetables, and a small portion of whole grain rice. Throughout the day, they drank water and herbal tea.
B. How much did you eat? (i.e., not enough, a reasonable amount, too much)
Based on the participant’s description, it can be inferred that they ate a reasonable amount of food. The portion sizes were appropriate, and they included a balanced mix of macronutrients in their meals. They did not report feeling overly full or hungry after their meals, indicating a moderate and balanced intake.
C. Where did you eat? (e.g., home, office, car)
The participant mentioned that they ate their breakfast and lunch at home, as they had prepared these meals in advance. They had their afternoon snack at their workplace during a short break. For dinner, they ate at home with their family, sharing a meal at the dining table.
D. Who with? (e.g., a family member, friend, alone)
The participant had their breakfast alone, as they were the only one awake at that time. For lunch, they ate alone at their workplace during a break. In the evening, they had dinner with their family, enjoying the meal together and engaging in conversation.
E. What were you doing? (i.e., activity)
During breakfast, the participant was catching up on some reading, reviewing work-related documents during lunch, and engaging in conversation with their family members during dinner. The participant did not report any specific activities during their snack time.
F. What was your emotional state? (e.g., happy, sad, anxious)
The participant mentioned feeling content and at ease during breakfast and lunch, as they were focused on their meals and work. During dinner, they stated feeling happy and relaxed in the company of their family.
Barriers to change that might exist for this participant:
One potential barrier to change for this participant is their busy work schedule, which may leave them with limited time to prepare nutritious meals or engage in physical activity. Another barrier could be the availability of unhealthy food options in their workplace, making it challenging for them to make healthier choices. Financial constraints may also be a barrier, as healthier food options can sometimes be more expensive.
Age-related barriers to change:
As the participant ages, new barriers may arise, such as changes in metabolism and decreased physical activity. Health conditions that are more common in older adults, such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases, may also impact their dietary choices and require adjustments to their eating habits.
Why it is difficult to change health behavior, using food and diet as an example:
Changing health behavior related to food and diet is often challenging due to various factors. Food is deeply rooted in cultural and social contexts, which can make it difficult to deviate from traditional eating habits. Moreover, food preferences and habits are established early in life and become ingrained over time. Additionally, there are psychological factors, such as emotional eating or using food as a coping mechanism, that can make it hard to change one’s eating habits.
Parallels to personal eating habits:
In my own eating habits, barriers to change exist. For instance, time constraints can lead to choosing unhealthy convenience foods rather than preparing nutritious meals. Additionally, cravings for sugary snacks or fast food can be difficult to resist, even when knowing the negative health consequences. These barriers align with the barriers identified in the readings, which emphasize the influence of social and cultural factors, emotional eating, and the impact of time constraints on dietary choices.
In conclusion, this activity provided valuable insights into a participant’s eating habits and allowed for an exploration of barriers to change, age-related barriers, difficulties in changing health behavior related to food and diet, as well as personal reflections on eating habits. Understanding these aspects can help healthcare professionals develop strategies to support individuals in making positive changes to their dietary behaviors.
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