Foundations of Food Nutrition and Health Essay Example


Foundations of Food Nutrition and Health

Questions to answer about the Food and Diet Questionnaire

1. Question 5 asks about the frequency of consuming your main meal outside of the home in the average week. Explain two factors that influence your answer and whether there are situations that would change your answer. (~150 words, 10 marks)

I do not eat any meal outside of the home. This is because I take charge of how and when my food is cooked. I think foods prepared at home are safe because I can take control of where to buy it, the length of period stored and the cooking style. I found out, for instance that restaurant foods are notoriously high in fat, sugar and salt (1). I feel attention to cooking techniques and food handling procedures at a home is possible compared to the situation in restaurants. The second factor that informed my decisions to eat at home is the reduction of food sensitivities and allergies. Restaurants have a wider menu of foods to include in a single meal (5). This increases the chances of food allergies. The only time this situation changes is when I am away from home on long trip.

2. Question 10 asks you to rate the importance of many food and eating related behaviours. Pick one of the behaviours and explain why you answered the way you did and whether there is evidence to support that this behaviour is related to health. (150 words, 10 marks)

I prefer white compared to the red meat because it has been found to have less health complications and more useful nutrients than red meat. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Red meat is a major causal factor for colorectal cancer and has been linked to an increased risk of type II diabetes. This is because white meats have a lower trans-fat, saturated fats and dietary cholesterol (3). Consumers of red meat also risk developing high blood pressure and increased risks of cardiovascular diseases. One effective way of countering this is by reducing the consumption of red meat or changing the manner in which it is cooked (10). For example, it is important to avoid pan frying red meat because it converts the creatine, sugar and amino acids into heterocyclic amines, compounds which have been found to cause gene mutations over time (3).

Questions to answer about the Food Frequency Questionnaire

3. How well do you think the Food Frequency Questionnaire captured your usual dietary intake over the past month and year? (~150 words, 10 marks)

The details listed in the questionnaire, likes, dislikes and frequency accurately reflect the common foods I take. I, for instance, I indeed take cooked porridge, mixed grain bread, high fibre white bread and breakfast cereals once per week. The questionnaire also seems reliable and valid because it assesses many of the health determinants. For example, the questions on physical activity, health nutrition and weight changes are consistent with available research on health eating. The questionnaire also included four nutritional restraint dimensions, shape and body image concerns, eating concern and overweight concerns. In addition, it takes into consideration the nutritional values of every foods selected or actions taken. Few of the questions are open ended; I therefore have to give precise answers on what I do or don’t. Furthermore food items have been appropriately separated and questions on each candidly asked. The groups include vegetables, fruits, meats, drinks, meat, and alcohol among others.

4. How and why would the types of food you ate change if you:

a. Lived in a remote area

b. Had to prepare all of your own food

Check the foods you eat often in the Food Frequency Questionnaire to use as examples in your answer. (~150 words, 10 marks)

I occasionally take flavoured milk drinks 1-3 times in a month, flavoured yoghurt 2-4 times in a week, minced meet, jam marmalade and go to grocers once in a week. This would drastically change if I lived in a remote area because such foods as vegetarian snacks, chicken curry, meat curry, fruits and raw vegetables readily available. Urbanization changes food consumption patterns (11). In rural areas I would take more fruits and vegetables and less meat because they have less preservatives or any food additives. Foods that are contain saturated fats for instance cooking margarine and palm cream would be minimal in remote places. I currently prepare most of my food, but if I had to prepare all my food I would ensure that I further limit the intake of foods with added sugars, red meat and cholesterol reach foods.

According to questions 4 and 5 in Section Two of the Food Frequency Questionnaire, how many serves of vegetables and fruit do you usually eat each day? Critically evaluate your intake compared with the recommendations for your gender and age group from the Australian Dietary Guidelines 1.(~150 words, 10 marks)

I extremely like greens for example, bok choy, spinach, lettuce and tomatoes. I also extremely like fruits such as grapes, oranges, bananas and apple among others. I eat three to four fruit serves daily. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that I take up to six serves of vegetables, legumes and beans. It also recommends that extra serves should be chosen from fruits, cereals, vegetables, cheese and vegetables. In addition, it advises that grains and breads should be made part of at least two meals daily. It defines legumes as plant seeds that are immaturely eaten as beans or green peas. Vegetables come from diverse plant parts, for example, the tuber, roots, shoots, seeds, leaves and stems(2). Australian Dietary Guidelines also recommend two fruit serves daily and three serves of lean meat. I take three and four fruit and lean meat serves on a daily.


1. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2013.

Questions to answer about the Likes and Dislikes Questionnaire

6. How well do you think the Likes and Dislikes Questionnaire captured your like or dislike for foods and beverages? Did you have difficulty in deciding which response option to choose for any of the foods or beverages? Why or why not? (~150 words, 10 marks)

The questions asked capture my foods and beverages likes and dislikes. For example, the section on beverages is straightforward and captures virtually all the beverages I take, for example orange fruit juices, cola soft drinks, tea, beer, red wine and beer. The questions put fewer burdens on the respondent’s memory. It is easy for instance to remember the last time one took a particular fruit and mark it appropriately in the questionnaire. I also found it less challenging to choose an option because the major “choice issues” are directly related to the information richness and level details that I already have in my mind. The questions are worded in a manner that best reflects how I would think and take about the same issue. Besides, there is a clear difference between such words as never, sometimes, always, once in a day, 1-3 times in a month among others.

7. Some of the foods and beverages listed in the Likes and Dislikes Questionnaire are similar to foods and beverages listed in the Food Frequency Questionnaire. Looking at your responses to both questionnaires, what are 2 factors that influence your food choices and why? (~150 words, 10 marks)

I am a picky eater, and my choices mainly depend on the nutritional value, taste and smell of food. For example I take vegetable casserole at least once per day because vegetables because besides acting as a good digestive facilitator, they are appetizing and nutritious. I also water several times in a day because it is good for the successful biological processes in the body to take place, reduce dehydration and ensure that my skin is health (8). I also like and frequently take wholegrain breads, white bread and rice because they are rich in carbohydrates and help the body to have enough energy. Whole grain bread is also easily digestible and rich in more vitamins than foods such as boiled, mashed or baked potatoes, green beans or broccoli(7). I like oranges, mandarin, bananas and whole full fat milk both because of their taste and nutritive value.

General questions to answer

8. The Australian Health Survey 2011-2012 found that only 1.6% and 2% of males aged 19-30 years and 31-50 years and 4.1% and 6.3% of females aged 19-30 years and 31-50 years met vegetable intake recommendations 1. The Survey also found that only 36.5% and 40.7% of males aged 19-30 years and 31-50 years and 44.7% and 48.2% of females aged 19-30 years and 31-50 years met fruit intake recommendations 1. How do you think vegetable and fruit intakes could increase so that more people meet vegetable and fruit intake recommendations? What improvements in population health do you think we would see if population-level intakes could be increased to meet vegetable and fruit intake recommendations? Why? (~250 words, 15 marks)


1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results — Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, cat. no. 4364.0.55.007, Canberra: ABS; 2014.

First, more public health education needs to be conducted to make more people aware of the importance of vegetables and fruits. In a 2011 survey the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that more than half of Australian households do not take vegetables and fruits, not because they cannot afford it, but because they lack information on their importance (11). Secondly, Instead of middle men and traders selling fruits in towns and cities, the farmers should be given more space and subsidies to directly sell fruits and vegetables to consumers. Currently, fruit and vegetable process are not friendly to the average consumer, and this makes it difficult for them to balance between buying food and fruits (6). Obviously they will prioritize the food more than the fruits. Thirdly, research should also be carried out to find out the major or common fruits in every part of the country and the “missing” fruits or vegetables be availed. This balancing approach will not only help in timely supply of fruits and vegetables, but will also ensure that people are always optimistic and confident of finding their favourites when they go to the market. Reliable storage equipment or facilities, to guarantee the availability of specific fruits and vegetables during off-seasons is also crucial (9). When people eat enough fruits and vegetables many of diet-related diseases can be eradicated. For example, red fruits such as watermelon and tomatoes contain lycopene, a substance that has been discovered to helpful in fighting heart diseases and prostate cancer.


You need to Evaluate and discuss methods for measuring food intakes and behaviours. (200 words, 10 marks)

1. Give a relevant and clear explanation of personal experience in completing questionnaires and factors that could make it challenging for others to complete questionnaires is provided. The explanation of most factors is justified with relevant example or reasons that are clearly aligned with the explanation.

I found the questionnaire wording simple and clear. There are detailed descriptive titles throughout the questionnaires. This makes the selection of options, especially those relating to frequency of consumption, effortless. The use of simple statements yields more accurate responses and brings out the attitude of the respond concerning the food or nutrition issues being raised. One of the factors that would make it challenging for others to complete the questionnaire is the placement of several food types into one category. It tends to confuse the respondents, especially when they take some and not all of the foods “lumped together” in a category. For example, the question “in an average week how often would you main meal of the day be? The first option contains “take away”. A respond may be taking Pizza 2-3times in a week but never takes “take away fish”. Breaking it down further will reduce such confusion. Secondly, some of the phrases terminologies need to be defined, at least to make it easy for respondents to pick out options. The phrases and words “aspects of diet” and “nutrition” and “health” need to be defined or briefly described. Making assumptions complicated the understanding and responds to questions.

Reference List

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results — Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, cat. no. 4364.0.55.007, Canberra: ABS; 2014.

  2. Gillham, B. Developing a questionnaire (2nd ed). London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. 2008.

  3. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2013

  4. Song P, Lu M, Yin Q. «Red meat consumption and stomach cancer risk: a meta-analysis». J. Cancer Res. Clin. Oncol. (Meta-analysis) 2014; 140 (6): 979–92

  5. Australian government gateway to health information, 2015. Retrieved from

  6. Life sciences and biomedical literature, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015

  7. Walter C. Willett and Meir J. Stampfer (2003). «Rebuilding the Food Pyramid». Scientific American 288, 2003 (1): 64–71

  8. Magnani C, Tang W, Boutrolle I (2010). «Understanding fluid consumption patterns to improve healthy hydration». Nutr Today 45 (6): S22–S26.

  9. Brindal, E., Wilson, C., Mohr, P., Wittert, G. (2014). «Nutritional consequences of a fast food eating occasion are associated with choice of quick-service restaurant chain, 184–192.». Nutrition & Dietetics.

  10. Burns, C., Bentley, R., Thornton. L., Kavanagh. A. (2013). «Associations between the purchase of healthy and fast foods and restrictions to food access: A cross-sectional study in Melbourne, Australia. Pg. 143-150». Public Health Nutrition.

  11. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2015). «The health and welfare of Australia’s aboriginal and torres strait islander peoples; Determinants of health; socioeconomic and environmental factors pg 49-73»